Count Trulia Inc. among the ranks of real estate portal operators who have settled claims that they infringed on two patents covering a process that enables consumers to search for items of interest in specific geographic locations.
Trulia says it’s agreed to pay up to $900,000 to Alexandria, Va.-based CIVIX-DDI LLC to settle claims that it infringed on U.S. patents 6,385,622 and 6,415,291, which cover techniques for remotely accessing a selected group of items of interest from a database.
A Portland, Ore.-based company that sued two multiple listing service software vendors for patent infringement has lost a two-year court battle, with a U.S. District Court Judge dismissing its claim against one of the vendors and invalidating the patent in question.
CollegeNET Inc. filed suit against MarketLinx Inc. and Rapattoni Corp. in July 2009 claiming the companies had infringed on a 2005 patent governing an automated system for sending predetermined messages to website users based on information entered into a template.
Multiple listing services and Realtor associations now have blanket protection from legal claims by a company that holds several patents on location-based Internet search techniques, after the National Association of Realtors raised $7.5 million in licensing fees by Tuesday’s deadline.
Alexandria, Va.-based CIVIX-DDI LLC has filed patent infringement lawsuits against a number of companies that offer location-based search capabilities to consumers — including two of the nation’s largest MLSs: Chicago-based Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED) and Rockville, Md.-based Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS). After filing counterclaims against CIVIX, MRED and MRIS both elected to settle out of court.
When CIVIX began sending other MLSs letters demanding that they pay a licensing fee of $6 per member per year for four years, about 50 MLSs asked NAR to take the lead in negotiating a blanket licensing agreement that would apply to the industry as a whole.