Mapping patent dispute may be headed for trial
REAL, Realtor.com operator Move Inc. fail to resolve differences in mediation
A legal battle to put to rest allegations that Realtor.com and other real estate websites infringed on now-expired patents could be headed for a jury trial next year, after court-ordered mediation failed to resolve the 6-year-old dispute.
Real Estate Alliance Ltd. (REAL) claims Realtor.com operator Move Inc. and dozens of other real estate companies, brokers and agents violated its mapping technology patents.
REAL, which sold licenses for its mapping technology to a number of real estate brokerages before the patents expired in 2006 and 2008, sued Pennsylvania Realtor Diane Sarkisian in 2005, claiming she had violated them.
When REAL attempted to expand the lawsuit into a class-action suit, Move, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) responded by filing a lawsuit against REAL in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
REAL filed a counterclaim seeking triple damages against Move, NAR, NAHB and more than two dozen companies that employ map-based search, including multiple listing services, real estate brokerages and franchisors, and homebuilders.