DOVER, Del. – Feb. 11, 2014 – Thirteen real estate companies face patent infringement lawsuits lodged by Property Disclosure Technologies LLC (PDT), a Delaware-based firm that holds patents on a “real estate disclosure reporting method.”
PDT is classified as a “nonpracticing entity,” meaning it earns most of its revenue from the licensing or enforcement of its patents. A company that relies mainly on licensing from patents is often called a “patent troll.”
PDF names some big-name real estate companies in its lawsuit, including Zillow, Redfin, Re/Max, Keller Williams, Weichert and eight other realty businesses.
The lawsuit revolves around two patents owned by PDF that describe a systemized process for handling property disclosures.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says it has heard of PDT and is keeping a close eye on developments involving patent trolls. It has asked its membership to report any demands from companies to pay licensing fees for a technology or process they use in their business. In turn, NAR hopes to use any anecdotal evidence it collects to sway legislative efforts against patent trolls.
“We do know that our members have been impacted by the trolls, and we think that their resources are being diverted to this troll problem that could better be used in their business,” says NAR senior policy representative Melanie Wyne.
Source: Inman News (02/10/14) Brambila, Andrea V.
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