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Could This Mean Eviction for some Real Estate Mobile Applications?
Smarter Agent, LLC has filed a patent infringement complaint against 13 corporations.
On March 26, 2010 Smarter Agent, LLC filed a complaint claiming patent infringement naming 13 companies including: Boopsie, Classified Ventures, HotPads, IDX, Move, RealSelect, Multifamily Technology Solutions, Primedia, Consumer Source, TRSoft, Trulia, Zillow, and ZipRealty.
Three patents are named in the suit, 6,385,541 (‘541); 6,496,776 (‘776); 7,072,665 (‘665). The patents enable users to access information relating to real estate via their mobile devices. Patents ‘541 and ‘776 were issued in 2002 while patent ‘665 was issued in 2006. According to Smarter Agent they legally own the patents.
Smarter Agent claims that all the defendants are infringing their patent by “making, using, importing, providing, offering to sell and selling infringing products or services.” Most of the defendants named in the complaint have applications that are downloadable on the Apple iPhone, such as Classified Ventures “apartments.com”
In a statement to Patent Calls, Shelly Swartz representative for Smarter Agent stated, “Smarter Agent has been operating and innovating in the mobile space for a decade. We believe our innovations, protected by our patents, are being infringed upon. We have an obligation to our shareholders to protect our intellectual property. We intend to vigorously protect our intellectual property.”
Smarter Agent develops mobile real estate applications for professionals and consumers and is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey.
Zillow said they had just heard about the complaint, “This was just brought to our attention a couple of days ago; however we have not yet been served with the patent suit. If we do get served, our lawyers will look into it. Until that time, we can’t comment further and it’s business as usual.”
My New Place, owned by Multifamily Technology Solutions had this to say about the complaint, “We believe that this lawsuit is without merit and will mount a vigorous defense.”
Classified Ventures and Primedia declined to comment.
Patent Calls tried to reach all parties in the case, the ones not mentioned here did not respond by press time.
Smarter Agent is asking for an injunction barring the defendants from using the patented technology. They are also asking to be awarded damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
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