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NAR sues Data Distribution Technologies over patent controversy

The trade association hopes to stop what it says is a 'patent troll' from suing real estate companies over widely used technology
  • On June 8, NAR filed a civil complaint against Data Distribution Technologies asking that its patent on technology widely used in real estate offices be declared invalid and unenforceable by the U.S. District Court.
  • Leading up to the lawsuit, NAR filed what’s known as an Inter Partes Review (IPR) petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office requesting that it review the validity of the same patent.
  • DDT alleges that real estate websites in general violate the '908 patent because they are databases that can be updated remotely and such updates can trigger an alert that is sent to a user via email.
  • At the heart of NAR's lawsuit is a laundry list of criticisms poking holes at what NAR says is the "vague" language found in DDT's technology patent.

Two can play the lawsuit game, and the National Association of Realtors just dealt itself in. On June 8, NAR filed a civil complaint against Data Distribution Technologies, LLC (DDT) requesting that its patent on a "remotely updated database system" be declared invalid and unenforceable by the U.S. District Court. Over the past few years, DDT has filed lawsuits against three real estate companies that employ NAR members and sent demand letters to several more brokerages, MLSs and technology vendors. The lawsuits were filed against Re/Max LLC, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc. and Prudential Brer Affiliates. Each of those cases settled. NAR said it cannot disclose the names of the other entities that have been targeted with demand letters but have not yet been sued. On May 19, 2016, NAR filed what’s known as an Inter Partes Review (IPR) petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), requesting that the agency review DDT's patent. NAR is ...