Real Estate Alliance Ltd. has issued the first major license for a patent the company holds for using a computer mapping system to locate available real estate properties for sale. LendingTree on Monday announced it has obtained a license from Real Estate Alliance Ltd., or REAL for short, for its patented REAL989 map search functionality for use on the LendingTree-owned RealEstate.com Web site. Under the agreement, RealEstate.com will become a fully licensed nationwide user of REAL's patents, granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1989 and 1991, and will incorporate its mapping and zooming interfaces on RealEstate.com. REAL caught the industry's attention last July when it filed a lawsuit against Philadelphia Realtor Diane Sarkisian, accusing her of illegally using its patented property locator method and asking for unspecified royalties and court costs. The case, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, could have broad implications for the real estate in...
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