Two Omaha homebuilders associations are in a legal tug of war over the “Street of Dreams,” the annual showcase of newly constructed, upscale homes.
It’s been 30 years since one of the groups, the Metropolitan Omaha Builders Association, secured exclusive rights to the “Street of Dreams” trademark, according to a lawsuit filed in Douglas County District Court.
But three years ago, when MOBA was dealing with financial troubles and cutting events, it allowed use of the name by a newer group, Home Building Professionals of Greater Omaha.
The Street of Dreams subsequently went on as it had for the previous quarter of a century — but under the management of the Home Building Professionals.
Now, with resurgence of the home construction industry and healthier times for MOBA, the older group wants to resume hosting the show. The glitch, according to the lawsuit: The other group isn’t relinquishing the name.
The lawsuit says HBP has taken actions to produce a luxury home show in 2014 “using MOBA’s ‘Street of Dreams’ trade name and trademark.”
Meanwhile, MOBA President Jerry Standerford, who also is with Sherwood Homes and Lane Building Corp., said MOBA is moving forward with plans to host a Street of Dreams event in 2014. It will be the association’s first Street of Dreams since Home Building Professionals used the name in 2011 and again in 2012.
As for this year’s event — planned for Sept. 14 to 29 — it goes on regardless of the lawsuit, both groups said. The tour of new “dream” homes and trending interior furnishings will be held at Deer Creek Highlands near 120th Street and Deer Creek Drive.
According to the Nebraska secretary of state’s website, the Home Building Professionals group in the last few years has registered trade names that contain the “Street of Dreams” phrase, including Home Building Professionals Street of Dreams and Build Omaha Street of Dreams.
The lawsuit was filed in July after MOBA did not receive the response it had hoped to a May 20 letter sent by attorney John Stalnaker. The letter asked the Home Building Professionals to confirm that it would refrain from using the Street of Dreams name in any capacity after 2013.
Attorney John Bachman, on behalf of the Home Building Professionals, wrote in June only that he would review the matter.
A different lawyer, Patrick Sullivan, has since stepped in to represent the Home Building Professionals on the lawsuit that pits two groups that share several common members. Sullivan said Friday the conflict might yet be resolved out of court.