Los Angeles, CA – Patent attorneys for Real Estate Alliance, LLC (“REAL”) filed a patent infringement lawsuit, at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, accusing real estate websites www.loopnet.com and www.cityfeet.com of infringing on U.S. Patent No. 4,870,576 and U.S. Patent No. 5,032,989. “The Patents describe methods for locating available real estate properties for sale, lease, or rental using a database of available properties, and displaying the approximate location of such properties on a map of an area of interest. The Patents describe zooming in on an area of interest, displaying the approximate locations of available properties within the zoomed area, and, among other things, identifying information about the available properties in that area.”
Although this concept seems commonplace today, the complaint alleges that when the inventions were made in 1986, “personal computers were in their infancy; the Internet was virtually unheard of.” The Complaint asserts that “LoopNet has infringed, and continues to infringe, the Patents by using the patented methods to display on zoom-enabled maps on its website the locations of millions of available commercial real estate property listings. LoopNet enables property owners and commercial real estate agents – on behalf of property owners and landlords – to list properties for sale or for lease and submit detailed information on property listings, such as qualitative descriptions, financial and tenant information, photographs, and key property characteristics, in order to find a buyer or tenant. Commercial real estate agents, buyers, and tenants use the LoopNet online marketplace to search for available property listings.” In addition to preliminary and permanent injunctions, the complaint seeks monetary judgments against both defendants. The case is titled Real Estate Alliance, Ltd., v. Loopnet, Inc., CV 08-02321 CAS (PLAx) (C.D. Cal. 2008).