Listingbook, LLC v. Market Leader, Inc., 1-13-cv-00583 (NCMD November 13, 2015, Order) (Biggs, J.)
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Real Estate Information Sharing Patent Claims Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims of plaintiff's patent for sharing information among real estate agents and clients were invalid for lack of patentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed to an abstract idea. "[Plaintiff's] patent specification confirms that real estate agents 'conventionally' connect to a database of real estate information 'to locate properties of interest for their clients.' They then contact each client to determine whether the client is interested in any of the resulting properties and whether the client has found any properties of interest from other sources, such as print advertisements or the Internet. Through this interaction, the agent and clients have exchanged information and collaborated in the real estate search process. [Plaintiff's] invention simply places the interaction online. . . . The fact that [plaintiff's] method is performed online—rather than in an office, over the phone, or through email—does not change the Court’s conclusion that Claim 1 is directed to an abstract idea."