Technology

RealPage and Smarter Agent resolve patent lawsuit

App developer's claims against Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com pending

Property management software company RealPage Inc. has agreed to license several patents from mobile real estate applications company Smarter Agent, resolving a lawsuit the company filed against a RealPage subsidiary in March 2010.

In the complaint, Smarter Agent alleged that the companies named in the suit violated three of its technology patents, all of which allow users to access real estate information via a mobile device. Among the companies named in the suit were Zillow; Trulia; realtor.com operator Move Inc.; ZipRealty; and Multifamily Technology Solutions, owner and operator of MyNewPlace.com. RealPage acquired MTS in 2011.

Smarter Agent subsequently filed similar patent infringement suits against a number of other real estate companies, including DoApp Inc., Goomzee Corp., Diverse Solutions, Market Leader and ForSaleByOwner.com, among others.

The suits are pending as all three patents at issue are being re-examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patents are U.S. patent Nos. 6,385,5416,496,776 and 7,072,665.

As part of the licensing agreement with RealPage, Smarter Agent dismissed with prejudice its claims against MTS, Smarter Agent said in an announcement. The patents, included but not limited to the three patents mentioned above, will bolster RealPage’s LeaseStar sales and marketing products by enabling rental housing seekers to access rich rental property data via a mobile device through the use of wireless, location-triggered searching, Smarter Agent said.

“We believe native iOS and Android apps with HTML5 wrappers is an important technology platform that will improve our customer experience. Licensing Smarter Agent patents eliminates uncertainty about use of this technology in real estate applications such as those offered by RealPage,” said Jason Lindwall, RealPage’s chief operations officer, in a statement.

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In February, real estate data and technology firm CoreLogic announced it had signed a licensing agreement involving several patents held by Smarter Agent, including the three patents that have been at the center of Smarter Agent’s lawsuits. CoreLogic was not involved in the litigation.

At the time, Smarter Agent spokesman Philip Charles-Pierre said Smarter Agent was pursuing similar licensing agreements with other companies and had signed an agreement with a large, publicly traded homebuilder in January.

The company also announced then that it was creating a spinoff to license its growing stock of mobile-related patents and projected “substantial licensing revenue” in 2013.

The spinoff was completed earlier this year, dividing Smarter Agent into two separate companies, Smarter Agent Mobile (focused on Smarter Agent’s mobile products business) and patent licensing company Mobile Location IP LLC.  The latter is technically the entity that signed the licensing deal with Real Page, Charles-Pierre said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that Smarter Agent is now two separate companies, Smarter Agent Mobile and Mobile Location IP LLC.