The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent for the technology that powers NeighborhoodScout, the neighborhood search engine for home buyers and movers that covers the entire United States at the neighborhood level, the company announced today.

Consumers looking for a home can visit NeighborhoodScout.com and enter their personal criteria, then use the search engine to instantly focus their house hunt on the neighborhoods that best match.

For example, consumers could use the site to search for a neighborhood with good schools and reasonable home prices within 20 miles of New York City. NeighborhoodScout also instantly maps results so consumers know exactly where to buy from the many neighborhoods in a given metropolitan area.

NeighborhoodScout also has a real estate brokerage license so the company can refer home buyers and sellers to local real estate agents nationwide.

“Despite the explosion of real estate-related Web sites, one of the first questions most home buyers have – where to focus their house hunt – is still primarily provided through word-of-mouth,” said Andrew Schiller, a Ph.D. geographer and the founder of NeighborhoodScout.com.

“We are very pleased that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded this patent on the algorithms that make NeighborhoodScout matches highly accurate reflections of user-selected criteria, as well as the unique and easy ways that users can conduct searches,” Schiller added.

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