Mapping-patent holders seek to broaden lawsuit against Realtors

Countersuit charges that patent backers violated RICO laws

The backers of a mapping-patent infringement lawsuit filed against a Pennsylvania Realtor are seeking to expand the lawsuit to include active participants in a regional multiple listing service and those Realtors who purchased enhanced features for property listings at the property-search Web site.

Meanwhile, a countersuit is proceeding that alleges patent backers violated federal racketeering laws by threatening agents with lawsuits if they did not purchase licenses for the mapping technology.

The lawsuits are significant for the real estate industry, as property-