Lansing — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has dropped a trademark infringement lawsuit after a Lapeer County Realtor agreed to stop using the state’s popular “Pure Michigan” tourism slogan in his real estate company name.
The company owned by Gary Gillim of North Branch has changed its name to Real Estate Security Corporation from Pure Michigan Real Estate and agreed to take down its puremichiganrealestate.com website.
The MEDC dropped its federal lawsuit against Gillim earlier this month, but is now focused on reaching agreements with 32 other companies using different twists of “Pure Michigan” in their names, MEDC spokeswoman Emily Gerkin Palsrok said.
State incorporation records show there are registered “Pure Michigan” company names peddling everything from hops to vodka and Lake Superior boat cruises.
“We are still working through the list of other companies currently using the Pure Michigan name somehow, in violation of our trademark protections,” Palsrok said in an email to The Detroit News.
The MEDC, a quasi-state agency, has had a federally registered trademark since 2006 for its award-winning “Pure Michigan” campaign of television and radio commercials pairing the voice of actor Tim Allen with Great Lakes State scenery.
Gillim’s son, Mark, registered a domain name for the company in March 2010 and Gillim created a Facebook page in April 2012, according to the lawsuit. The MEDC sued Gary Gillim’s company in November after refusing to license the trademark to him.
Mark Gillim has said he and his father thought they were following the law when the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs allowed them to register the name “Pure Michigan Real Estate.”
Mark Gillim said this week his father’s real estate company will operate under the new name “until this twisted arm of government gets its new leash.”
“I am building a network of Michigan citizens and businesses who have also been attacked by the MEDC,” Gillim said in an email.