Zillow has scored a win in a patent case brought by LendingTree, which alleged that the Seattle-based real estate company, along with Adchemy and NexTag, was using technology patented by LendingTree when offering users mortgage results.
A jury ruled today that Zillow and the company’s co-defendants did not infringe on the patents, and furthermore, that those patents are invalid. In a small silver lining for LendingTree, the jury found in the company’s favor when it came to the defendants’ counterclaims of antitrust violations and inequitable conduct.
The case was brought to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in 2010, and a judge has yet to render a final verdict. But even when a verdict comes down, Zillow may not see the end of hostilities. Tree.com, LendingTree’s parent company, said in a press release that it was “disappointed with the verdict on its patent claims and believes it has strong grounds for appeal.”
It’s been a good year for Zillow so far, which reported record profits in January. The company also recently hired former Realtor.com Chairman Errol Samuelson to join its team as the company’s Chief Industry Development Officer.
Update: A Zillow spokesperson provided GeekWire with the following statement via email: “We thank the jury for their time and attention, but we do not comment on litigation.”