General Patent Corporation (GPC), a patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced on July 11, 2013 that its subsidiary, Data Distribution Technologies LLC (DDT) settled a patent infringement lawsuit against RE/MAX LLC. This settlement resolves Data Distribution Technologies LLC v. RE/MAX LLC (Case No. 2:12-cv-04877), which was filed on August 3, 2012, in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Similarly, GPC announced on July 3, 2013, that it resolved a similar lawsuit against Weichert Lead Network, resolving Data Distribution Technologies LLC v. Weichert Lead Network, Inc. (2:12-cv-04149), which was filed on July 6, 2012, also in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
The patent involved in both lawsuits was U.S. Patent No. 6,529,908, which is titled Web-Updated Database with Record Distribution by Email.
The ‘908 patent covers a remotely updatable database system and associated method. The system includes a user interface, a database of information records, a database manager, and a message server. The system, generally speaking, allows the user interface to communicate with at least one subscriber system to receive input from a user. The database manager controls the database such that each information record is associated with at least one user. The database manager also allows for amending the information records in response to user input. The message server is in communication with the database manager for serving a message including at least one record received from the database manager to the user associated with the information record.
Subscribing users (such as real estate agents) use the subscriber systems to initiate a web session to communicate with the database system for the purpose of producing, updating or amending building information records stored at the database system. when a building is entered into the database, it is given a building code and the user id of the owner/agent designate. When an agent logs into the system, the system scans the on line database of buildings to find user id matches within building information. The agent is then presented with a listing of only those buildings for which he or she has been authorized the make entries or adjustments. There are multiple levels of access/security on the system. Agents may add, delete, or amend any of the other fields of information. The system identifies who has access and determines what is allowed to be done.
Much of the patent also deals with compression techniques that allow for reducing download times of relevant information to off line computer software. The compression aspects of the invention reduce the size of data files transferred to users and, hence, reduce the transfer time required to send messages to users. For example, with fifteen buildings, each with seven to ten pages of related information and each page being represented by fifteen kilobytes when stored as a text file, a file size of approximately 2250 kilobytes is created. A message containing such file can be downloaded to a user with the system described herein using a standard 28.8 kilobit/second modem in less than four seconds as opposed to the approximately twenty-five minutes it would take with current systems using a similar communications channel.