In June, NAR filed a lawsuit against Data Distribution Technologies, LLC (DDT) requesting that its patent on a “Web-updated database with record distribution by email” be declared invalid and unenforceable by a U.S. District Court. DDT is a subsidiary of patent monetization firm General Patent Corporation. DDT holds a single patent and secures revenue by suing other firms for infringement rather than developing products related to the patent — a financial setup characterized as a non-practicing entity or NPE.
NAR’s goal was to stop the company from sending threatening letters accusing REALTORS of patent violation and the lawsuit worked. DDT has agreed not to enforce its patent in the real estate industry in exchange for NAR abandoning efforts to invalidate it. The settlement specifically protects NAR members, associations, MLSs, and brokerage firms, among others.