Zillow was ordered to pay $8.3 million in damages after losing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by VHT Inc. in United States District Court in Seattle.
Details of the proceedings were revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K filing on Friday. The federal jury ruled on Thursday.
VHT, which provides photography and image management services, originally filed its complaint in July 2015, alleging that images displayed or saved to the Zillow Digs website violated VHT’s copyright.
VHT amended its complaint in January 2016, saying the infringement also applied to the Seattle-based real estate media company’s listings site, but that claim was dismissed by the court in December 2016.
The trial began on Jan. 23 and ended with VHT being awarded $79,875 in actual damages and $8.24 million in statutory damages. Judge James Robart, who ruled in the ongoing Washington state case against President Trump’s immigration order, presided in this case as well.
“We have persistently maintained our belief that this suit was without merit,” Zillow said in a statement provided to GeekWire. “While we are pleased that the majority of original claims were dismissed in this case, we regret that the jury did not find for us completely on those that remained, and will vigorously pursue all options to overturn their verdict. We take copyright protection and enforcement seriously and will continue to respect copyright permissions across our platforms.”
Zillow Digs serves as the company’s “hub” for home design, home improvement, and remodeling ideas, according to its website description. Users can browse design ideas and home improvement projects room by room.
Here’s the jury’s verdict.