NAR Goes After Patent Trolls Targeting REALTORS®

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The NAR has filed a petition with the U.S. Patent Office challenging patent infringement claims by companies that demand payment from real estate companies for “old and widely available” technology.

The action was taken to protect real estate professionals who are allegedly being victimized by “patent trolls,” according to the NAR. One company singled out is Data Distribution Technologies (DDT), which has sent letters to real estate companies demanding payment for infringing on its patent. But DDT is considered a “patent troll,” NAR reports, because its “business” is buying over-broad patents and sending “license letters” to users of the products.

“With this action, we’re telling the company and other patent trolls that our industry won’t tolerate these kinds of tactics against innocent real estate professionals who use well-known, ordinary technologies and business methods,” said NAR Associate General Counsel Ralph Holmen. “We intend to help protect members from being forced into cost-of-litigation settlements based on over-broad, invalid patents.”

NAR filed what is known as an Inter Partes Review (IPR) petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  While the IPR is pending, most courts will stay any related litigation under the same patent. A win for NAR will make it difficult for the company to proceed against other real estate companies with similar over-broad patent claims.

“We’re sending a message to this company, and more broadly to any company that relies on over-broad, invalid patents coupled with illegitimate ‘troll’ patent litigation tactics to make money, that the real estate industry is prepared to fight back,” Holmen said.

The Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board is expected to respond to the Petition in about four months.

A few of our accomplishments

Realtor Party: Vote Act Invest

At the local level CVAR:

1) Defeated two costly parcel taxes in local communities

2) Defeated the Eminent Domain of Mortgages in 3 CVAR communities

3) Elected Pro-REALTOR® candidates in local communities

 

At the State Level CVAR and CAR:

1). Halted an expensive $75 per-document housing fee

2). Prevented the passage of a Professional Services Tax

3). Halted a costly Point of Sale environmental retro-fit

 

At the Federal Level CVAR and NAR:

1). Maintained the Mortgage Interest Deduction

2). Retained the 1099 Exchange

3). Stopped a tax on Mortgages for Roads and Highways

Get Involved

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Support Your Business
The Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS® is dedicated to advocating for real estate professionals and their clients in the political arena. We want to make it easy for you to get involved and support your business!

Get the Call for Action From Anywhere!

The new REALTOR® Action Center mobile app contains a host of features to help you VOTE, ACT and INVEST while on the go.

Receive a notification alerting you to a Call for Action. The new mobile alert format will make participation a snap. No forms to fill out. Short, fast and easy!

  • Mobile Investing: Make your annual investment to support the Realtor Party Action Committee via your phone!
  • Action Profiles: The app contains a summary of your REALTOR® Party engagement, including a list of open action items and actions you have already taken.
  • Advocacy Reports: Track your state and local associations’ advocacy efforts to help us reach our annual 15% goal.
  • REALTOR® Party Tracker: Learn how your state and local associations are using NAR programs to build political strength in your own backyard. Find out what tools and programs NAR is providing our association, and how much money those programs cost.
What RPAC Does and Why We Urge You to Support It

Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of how important campaign fundraising is to the political process. RPAC doesn’t buy votes. RPAC enables REALTORS® to support candidates that support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood.

When Congress is considering legislation that affects the real estate industry, NARcalls on its members to act. Simply by contacting your Member of Congress through an e-mail, Tweet, or a phone call, you can ensure that your business remains strong. NAR members join together and speak with one loud, powerful voice.  It does make a difference!

What’s Happening on Capital Hill?

One of the most important services organized real estate provides is representation in the halls of government. Stay up to date with what is going on and visit our Government Affairs section of the website to read the most current political news.

National Government Affairs News

The Washington Report is a weekly publication compiled by the Government Affairs division of the National Association of REALTORS®, covering legislative and regulatory policy activities affecting all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Click to Read the Washington Report

Receive Government Affairs News via Email

To receive government affairs news via email, Subscribe to NAR’s Weekly Report newsletter and check Legislative & Regulatory Issues.

 California Government Affairs News

The Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS® encourages its members to be familiar with issues that directly impact their business and to support state and federal initiatives to ensure a viable real estate market.
Read California Government Affairs News

RPAC: Your Best Investment in Real Estate

Realtor Party: Vote Act Invest

Why Political Involvement?
Since 1969 RPAC has been promoting the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed over $12 million to pro-REALTOR® candidates to Congress, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation.

Why has RPAC been successful?
In America the exercise of good government has its foundation in the participation of its citizens in politics. By definition of the work you do, REALTORS® are contributors to the American dream- home ownership. REALTORS® make it possible for people to bring value to their communities, their lives, to schools and to the future. Increasingly REALTORS® are facing forces from many directions that threaten their ability to help bring about the American dream for more people. Increasing health care premiums, the economy, property tax burdens, rent controls, impact fees and the taking of private property for the public domain are only a quick handful of issues that somewhere, everyday REALTORS® confront.

If Not You, Who?
That is why it is vitally important that REALTORS® be politically active: to take on the responsibility of protecting the values and rights we hold dear. If not REALTORS®, then who? No one knows a community better than a REALTOR®. It would be difficult to believe that a local no-growth group would represent your real estate business interests, or that those employed by the local government know best how much and where to spend the tax dollar better than you do. REALTORS® are the experts on their communities. REALTORS® know the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods, and the leaders. With REALTORS® in virtually every community in the nation, you are in a strong position to be on the front line as either a proponent or a defender.

Failure to be involved politically can and likely will result in someone else filling the vacuum left by you. That may sound okay at first; because we are sure someone else will do the job and see things as we do. That is until one discovers that the voices being heard may be contrary to wise business planning and a threat to property owners and their rights. If you as a REALTOR® do not speak out, get involved, and help shape your community, someone else will. It is a good bet that they won’t be supportive of your position.

On the national level, we give our money to those in Congress who both understand and support REALTOR® issues. We look to build the future by putting RPAC dollars in places that will help advance the interests of Real Estate professionals. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS®, run by REALTORS® and exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.