After nearly eight years of litigation and three appeals, real estate professionals were handed a win in a landmark patent infringement case. A federal circuit court of appeals affirmed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment to Move Inc., the National Association of REALTORS, and the National Association of Home Builders that they did not violate patents in the display of properties on websites.
Patent trolls have become a pressing issue in the real estate industry. REALTORS across the country have reported receiving threatening demand letters or even faced lawsuits alleging patent infringement for the use of common business tools, such as drop down menus, search alert function on websites, and even the scanner function on a copier. The companies alleging the infringement are trying to collect licensing fees in exchange for the use of the tools.