MLSs face potential patent infringement liability

Watch Live: Inman Connect NYC
Tune-in for the livestream and catch real estate thought leaders speak to the issues, opportunities and threats we face in 2018.

WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Realtors has taken a lead role in negotiating a proposed $7.5 million licensing agreement that's intended to provide blanket protection for multiple listing services and the industry as a whole from patent infringement claims by a company that has already sued operator Move Inc. and two major MLSs.

The company, CIVIX-DDI LLC, filed a lawsuit in December 2005 against NAR, Move Inc. and The suit claimed Move and NAR had infringed on four patents by providing location-based search services on Move settled the suit in December 2009 for an undisclosed sum.

More recently, CIVIX has filed lawsuits against two of the nation's largest MLSs -- Illinois-based Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED), and Maryland-based Metropolitan Regional Information Services Inc. (MRIS). MRIS and its lead MLS vendor, Tarasoft, chose to settle the lawsuit against them by entering into a licensing agreement with...