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Legal fight over zebra-themed websites reflects importance of insurance


When independent real estate agent and blogger Daniel Rothamel designed his website, he probably wasn't concerned about being sued for his zebra motif. However, that is precisely what has happened, according to Inman News.

The source reported that fellow real estate broker and trainer Deise Lones has sued Rothamel for trademark infringement stemming from the zebra print background that both sites display.

The website for Lones' marketing and business services company is known as "The Zebra Report," according to the source. However, Rothamel reportedly "promotes himself as 'Real Estate Zebra'." Lones claims to have rights to the theme because her site allegedly predates Rothamel's and he is a competitor since they are in the same field.

According to the source, Rothamel's zebra reference stems from the fact that he serves as a referee for local basketball teams. He also claims to have never heard of Lones or her business until he was served with court documents.

Though no judgement has yet been reached in the suit, whether the claims are founded or not, the issue reflects the importance of professional liability insurance. Even if Rothamel is found innocent, he will likely incur legal fees from the case, which could be difficult to manage if he is not adequately insured.  

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