Smarter Agent, a US-based provider of real estate search applications for mobile, is suing a number of prominent property portals and real estate companies for alleged patent infringement.
As aimgroup.com explains, the complaint was filed in Delaware's US district court against Boopsie, Inc., Classified Ventures, LLC, HotPads, Inc., IDX, Inc., Move, Inc., RealSelect, Inc., Multifamily Technology Solutions, Inc., MyNewPlace, Primedia, Inc., Consumer Source, Inc., TRSoft, planetRE, Trulia, Inc., Zillow, Inc., and ZipRealty, Inc.
The complaint, made available by inman.com, claims these companies have infringed and continue to infringe "one or more claims of the patents-in-suit by making, using, importing, providing, offering to sell, and selling (directly or through intermediaries), infringing products and/or services."
Smarter Agent spokesperson Shelly Schwartz explained her company's position to inman.com:
"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."
In May 2009, Smarter Agent released its "Homes for Sale" application, claiming it was "the first mobile application to reach anyone with an interest in real estate, any way they know how to use their phone." The application uses GPS to allow homebuyers to search for MLS listing information, and can be branded by agents and connected to their websites.
A statement on the Smarter Agent website claims the company was first in mobile GPS real estate search:
"We invented the mobile GPS real estate search category. We received our first patent in 2000 and our fifth patent in 2009. We expect several more of our patents will be granted as we invent more cool mobile tools.
If it is powered by Smarter Agent, you are seeing more listing data in more places than other mobile realty applications because our broker and/or MLS partners provide all the listings in many markets."
Both ziprealty.com and zillow.com told inman.com they plan to fight the case.