Earlier this year, CIVIX-DDI, LLC sued Realtor.com and subsequently the Multiple Listing Services by way of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The suit with Realtor.com named CIVIX’s patent on ““systems and methods for remotely accessing a selected group of items from a database” aka web search relying on geo-location; Move, Inc. (Realtor.com operator) and NAR both settled with the company. Now, CIVIX is suing Trulia, and alleges the site is infringing on a CIVIX patent on “systems and methods for remotely accessing a selected group of items from a database.”
As Trulia potentially gears up for an initial public offering (IPO), Agent Genius commented that this lawsuit could be a targeted move. “Given that Realtor.com, MLSs, and now Trulia have been targeted by CIVIX, we wonder who is most vulnerable to be next in line as the company’s new lawsuit makes it clear the intent to sue as many companies as possible. Is Zillow next?” the Agent Genius article said.
“Traditionally the real estate industry has been served by a lot of independent software companies,” W&R Studios co-founder, Greg Robertson told Agent Genius. Think about it, Top Producer was a couple brothers from Canada, Advanced Access, eNeighborhooods, Lone Wolf, Tarasoft, Rapattoni, W&R Studios, etc. I could think of a bunch more but hopefully you get the point. It’s not like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft have really focused on real estate software/technology. These patent trolls are threatening the ability for these independent software companies to do business. Meaning, bigger companies who have the assets to pay the extortion money will end up being the winners. Independent software companies will either go out of business or get gobbled up by bigger companies. Both scenarios equal less choice for real estate professionals.”