NAR meets first CIVIX milestone

Realtor associations, MLSs pay $2.5 million to license search patents

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The National Association of Realtors has met an initial deadline for raising $2.5 million in licensing fees from Realtor associations and multiple listing services (MLSs) seeking immunity from patent infringement claims by a company that holds several patents on location-based Internet search techniques.

Under an agreement with CIVIX-DDI LLC announced last month, NAR must raise $7.5 million in licensing fees by Aug. 16 in order for CIVIX to grant blanket immunity from lawsuits to all MLSs and Realtor associations.

If NAR fails to meet that goal — and an interim milestone of $5 million by July 17 — then only those Realtor associations and MLSs who paid for a licensing fee in an initial, 30-day round of fundraising that ends today will be protected from the threat of legal action.

NAR negotiated the blanket licensing agreement with CIVIX at the request of about 50 MLSs who were looking for a cheaper alternative than fighting the company in court or reaching individual settlements.