Industry NewsTechnology

Real estate agent sued over listings search method

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A corporation based outside of Philadelphia is suing a Pennsylvania Realtor for allegedly infringing a patent the company holds for using a computer mapping system to locate available real estate properties for sale. A corporation, Real Estate Alliance Ltd., on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia against RE/MAX Action Realty agent Diane Sarkisian, accusing her of illegally using its patented property locator method. Real Estate Alliance Ltd., or REAL for short, is asking for unspecified royalties and court costs, according to Lawrence Husick, an attorney for REAL. The company was formed to license the patent named in the suit, Husick said. Sarkisian did not return phone calls seeking comment on the claims. The case could have broad implications for the real estate industry as the method of using computer-mapping programs to search available homes on real estate Web sites has become more common. Attorneys for the patent holder noted that real estate agents th...