The new suit follow a suits filed against agent Diane Sarkisian for using map-based software for real estate searches that the patent owner, REAL, claims infringes. The suit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by REAL is against:
• The National Association of Realtors (NAR), with approximately 1.3 million real estate broker and agent members nationwide;
• Nationwide real estate brokerage firms, including RE/MAX and Keller Williams Realty;
• Home builders, such as Pulte Homes and Ryland Group;
• The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB);
• Enterprise computer software providers to the real estate industry, including Fidelity National
• Real Estate Solutions, First American Corporation, and others;
• MOVE, Inc., the company that operates flagship real estate websites such as Realtor.com, MOVE.com, HomeBuilder.com, RentNet.com, and SeniorHousingNet.com; and
• More than 25 other defendants representing nationwide classes of claimed infringers: real estate brokers, agents, multiple listing services, new home builders, and rental property owners/managers.
REAL is putting together five class action suits to demand remediation for “direct infringement, contributory infringement, and inducement to infringe.” REAL expects compensatory and triple damages.
Mark Tornetta who originated the patent, explains that he and REAL have tried to get organizations to license the patent with little luck. Now, he said, they can’t wait any longer.
News on this story has always come from Inman.com (a real estate site, which I suspect has this behind its pay wall) and via Scott Tatro, an interested party who often passes along information. This story, a press release which I found at the American Homeowners Resource Center, is based on a material from Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc., a Public Relations firm. That tells me the plaintiffs want to get the story out in a big way. Update: Scott Tatro sent me a copy of the release after I’d posted this.