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Smarter Agent suing more companies over mobile real estate search patent

Smarter Agent filing another round of lawsuits

Smarter Agent was named a “Genius 30” game changer last year for their power grab like none seen before as they plow through the real estate industry, suing company after company for their ownership of the patent for “global positioning-based real estate database access device and method,” “position based information access device and method” and “position based information access device and method of searching.”

In summary, the lawsuits allege that no one but Smarter Agent can create a mobile app in which real estate is searched- not IDX, not third party sites, not agents, not brokers, and when a company does, they protect their patent by suing for injunctive relief and monetary damages. Despite being New Jersey based, the company has again filed suit in Delaware which is notorious for being lenient on companies pursuing patent infringement cases.

In 2010, they sued Zillow, Hotpads, Boopsie, Move Inc., Trulia, ZipRealty and others.

Today, Smarter Agent has filed suit against MobileRealtyApps.com (StreetEasy), Goomzee, Kurio, Diverse Solutions, Market Leader, Hillside Software, ForSaleByOwner.com, and Terrostar Technology Solutions for their alleged patent infringement and they are asking for injunctive relief and monetary damages.

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We’ve opined in the past that patents are worth protecting, but that some patents (potentially this one) impede technological and business progress and ultimately penalize the real estate professional end user whose pocket ends up emptier as they pay the penalty, and their offering for clients ends up lighter.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Gary Little

    October 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Some of the companies being sued have been in business for many years. I'm wondering if the plaintiff has waited too long to sue — i.e., the limitation period has expired.

  2. Drew Meyers - Virtual Results

    October 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Sweet. Sue everyone..what a great business model they have.

  3. Tina Merritt

    October 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I'm thinking "Smarter Agent" isn't really an appropriate name for their company.

  4. Jonathan Benya

    October 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I don't think the concept of suing everyone possible is a wise use of resources, but to each their own. I suspect they have bitten off more than they can chew; how exclusive can the ability to search for homes on a phone really be?

  5. Don

    November 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I use "Smarter Agent" and I think its a great service. I can understand why they are upset. If I were them I would not want people coping my technology If I was the first to come out with it.

  6. Eric

    January 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I agree that when you have a patient on items, you need to protect it. However, Smarter Agent is way heavy handed on this and even as far as to say "no one but Smarter Agent can create a mobile app in which real estate is searched- not IDX, not third party sites, not agents, not brokers", seriously??? They don't even own the data that is used, heck if mls' wanted to be stinkers about it, they could restrict their data usage. Then where would their patients get them, nowhere. And their product is cut-rate at best, maybe that is why they are doing it. If you can't play, take your ball home!!

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