Industry News

Patent lawsuit defense gets more backing from NAR

Realtor group supports agent who allegedly violated mapping patent

The ROI Producing Real Estate Event of the Summer
Reach top decision-makers at Inman Connect

The National Association of Realtors has upped its financial stake in a mapping-patent lawsuit filed against a Realtor in Pennsylvania. The association said if the lawsuit is successful, more agents and MLSs could be targeted with similar complaints. Already, the Realtor trade group has contributed about $500,000 to support the defense of its member, Diane Sarkisian, from claims that she violated a patent held by Real Estate Alliance Ltd. And on Monday, the trade group's board of directors approved an additional contribution of up to $325,000 to support the ongoing litigation. The relevant patents, granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1989 and 1991, claim "a method using a computer for locating available real estate properties," and relies on the creation of a database of available real estate properties, a map display for a desired geographic area, and "zooming in on the first area of the displayed map to about the boundaries of the first area to display a higher level o...