CoreLogic v. CollegeNET, Inc.
An intellectual property patent lawsuit filed by CollegeNET in July of 2009 requesting a jury trial against MarketLinkx, Inc. (CoreLogic) and Rapattoni Corporation in the Texas Western District Court was recently brought to a close by Judge Sam Sparks. CoreLogic has been awarded a summary judgment in the suit as the court agrees the patent claims were invalid.
CoreLogic is an information provider, best known in the real estate industry for powering several multiple listing services across the nation. CollegeNET initially alleged that their patent on computer software that sends automatic notifications when newly entered data matches pre-defined search criteria. Judge Sparks sided with CoreLogic’s argument that CollegeNET’s patented system had been disclosed publicly prior to the date of their patent application, which led to a motion for summary judgment, declaring CollegeNET’s patent invalid, terminating the case prior to going to trial.
This isn’t CollegeNET’s first lawsuit
CollegeNET has filed lawsuits against the Princeton Review, ApplicationsOnline, ApplyYourself, and ACN Inc (telecom) for alleged patent infringement and Worldwide Entertainment, CollegenetPortal, The College Network, and AmeriCarriers, for trademark infringement. They have sued Google in dozens of alleged patent and trademark infringement cases in recent years.
“Others have tried and failed to invalidate CollegeNET’s patent, but we were confident in the strength of the evidence upon which our prior art argument was based, and the courts agreed with us,” said Ben Graboske, CEO of CoreLogic MarketLinx. “MarketLinx prevailed in large part due to the expert knowledge possessed by our long-tenured and talented team members in addition to our decades-long focus on innovation.”
“CoreLogic fully respects the intellectual property of other rights holders, but we will always defend ourselves vigorously in cases we believe to be meritless,” added Rouz Tabaddor, VP and chief intellectual property counsel for CoreLogic. “Floyd Nation and Merritt Westcott of Winston Strawn did an exceptional job explaining to the Court how the prior art invalidates CollegeNET’s patent.”
Is this patent trolling?
Innovation is escalating at a break neck pace, but from time to time, a patent lawsuit stifles not only the very practice of modern real estate, but any innovation and strikes fear in the hearts of real estate companies, just so patent trolls can make a buck.
Many assert that CollegeNET is a “patent troll” which is a negative term used for a company that buys patents, is a non-practicing inventor then sues to enforce their patent and survive on lawsuit money rather than on the technology they have filed a patent for. Often, there is no intention to use the patent at any time and is often a patent so broad and generic that it can be more expensive to fight than to settle in most cases. It is an aggressive revenue model that many believe stifles innovation, including President Obama, who recently signed patent reform laws which have given hope to a variety of industries, namely technology startups.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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