A mirror image? Canadian real estate brokerage accused of ripping off Estately
GeekWire.com reported on Sutton WestCoast Realty, one of the largest real estate brokerages in Canada, having received a cease-and-desist letter asking that the brokerage take down its website, which apparently mirrors online real estate upstart Estately, based in Seattle, Washington.
For the past three years, the two companies had been partners, Sutton WestCoast using Estately’s map-based technology to power its website. However, Estately decided to terminate its white-label real estate search service earlier this year, notifying customers of the change and asking them to find alternatives.
A new site emerged from Sutton WestCoast recently, and it appeared to be a near-exact replica of Estately’s service.
“Their new site, that is not hosted by us, looks surprisingly like Estately, circa 2011,” said Estately CEO Galen Ward. “We have ended our relationship with Sutton WestCoast, at the end of March, and we are having conversations with them about their new site.” Ward declined further comment.
When is copying a law breaking act and when is it considered an inspiration, thus being pegged as the best form of flattery?
Here is an example of other copycat websites: 22 Website Designs Inspired by Apple.com
Below are screen grabs, the first from Estately and the second from Sutton WestCoast.
And here’s the Sutton site for parts of B.C.: