It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s a cease and desist! DC Comics has recently mailed kryptonite to the “Real Estate Superhero” of Vancouver, Canada. Ian Brett, real estate broker, and self-proclaimed “Man of Sale,” has been hit with cease and desist from DC Comics for his use of the Superman likeness and application for the REAL ESTATE SUPERHERO trademark.
Real estate agents really like so stand out, quick name another profession that puts their photos on business cards. Ian Brett has a gimmick, not a great gimmick, but a gimmick. Brett is usually found wearing some sort of George Washington costume (powdered wig, knickers, you know the deal).
Without getting too technical, the real estate market in Vancouver is apparently super shady and the real estate agents have been employing a practice called “shadow flipping” whereby they receive separate commissions from multiple buyers for the same home. It’s a pseudo kick-back process where the real estate agent comes out very much on top.
Our friend, Mr. Brett, saw these practices, decided not to employ them, and then crowned himself Vancouver’s “Real Estate Superhero.” This is what he gets for being the good guy, a nice super-smack in the face. DC sent their cease and desist on January 9 and formally asked Brett to cease his use of the Superman costume (of which he subbed in an “R” on the chest instead of an “S”) and withdraw his application for the REAL ESTATE SUPERHERO mark. DC even told him to cease his employment of “the iconic Superman pose.”
DC goes on to say that they appreciate Brett’s comparing himself to Superman but want him to knock off the nonsense. Also, they don’t have any qualms with his use of CAPTAIN VANCOUVER to promote his business (which he uses as his Twitter handle //twitter.com/realtysuperhero). In fact, on his Twitter page, you will find that he has NOT ceased his use of the Superman indicia and seems to be proud of the fact that DC Comics sent this cease and desist to him. So…maybe this guy is asking for it. But, Mr. Brett, I can assure you, your gloating over the fact that DC has taken notice will only anger them further…and you won’t like them when they’re angry. Wait…that’s a Hulk catchphrase, right? Well, you get the picture, Ian Brett is in for a fight, let’s hope his legal defense is more powerful than a locomotive. There! That’s Superman. Stay tuned for more updates.
When not flipping houses, author, Martin Passante, is a 2L at Brooklyn Law School. Martin focuses his studies in intellectual property, entertainment, and copyright law especially in the world of YouTube.