Zillow has opted to pay $850,000 to CIVIX-DDI LLC, a Virginia-based company which has filed suit against several websites offering its location-based search capabilities to customers. The decision to pay the penalty fee was made in order to release the company from any claims that it infringed on two patents held by CIVIX-DDI LLC, and to avoid incurring any further legal fees.
In its annual report to investors, Zillow stated that CIVIX had not filed a suit against the company, and that Zillow chose to obtain a ‘fully paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty free, personal right and license’ from CIVIX ‘outside the context of litigation’.
LoopNet Inc. on the other hand, one of the other companies being sued by CIVX-DDI LLC has made the decision to ‘vigorously defend itself’ instead.
CIVIX filed suit against LoopNet in January of this year, claiming it did so after a protracted discussion between the parties which started in July of 2011, was not able to produce an out-of-court resolution.
LoopNet denies having infringed on the CIVIX patents, because it claims to be covered by Microsoft Corporation’s license, already granted to it by CIVIX (Microsoft powers LoopNet with its software).
Attorneys for LoopNet stated that the CIVIX patents are not enforceable, since their inventors withheld material information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, making misleading statements, with the specific intent to deceive regulators about the originality of their ideas during the patent application and re-examination processes.