Industry NewsTechnology

Mapping-patent backers settle with one agent

Numerous lawsuits proceed over alleged patent infringement

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Real Estate Alliance Ltd., a company that sells licenses to an electronic mapping technology, and the inventor announced Thursday that a Manhattan Beach, Calif., real estate agent -- one of 34 defendants in an ongoing patent dispute case filed in California -- has settled for undisclosed terms. Litigation for that case and several other related case is ongoing. The original case, filed three years ago against a Pennsylvania Realtor, has been stayed pending the related lawsuits in California. A countersuit in that case alleged patent backers violated federal racketeering laws by threatening agents with lawsuits if they did not purchase licenses for the mapping technology. The National Association of Realtors has pitched in about $1.3 million to date to assist the legal defense in the patent-dispute litigation, which alleges infringements of patents related to online real estate mapping technology. In a statement on Thursday, REAL and inventor Mark Tornetta estimated that &q...