Big news from the RMLS™ Board of Directors!
Written by Kurt von Wasmuth, President & CEO of RMLS™
Recently, some very important actions were taken by the RMLS™ Board of Directors. The steps they took protect all RMLS™ subscribers and their businesses. These actions should be understood and celebrated by all involved with RMLS™ (subscribers, shareholders, vendors and staff).
CIVIX-DDI LLC (CIVIX) is a corporation that holds a patent that it believes every MLS in the country currently violates. CIVIX’s patent is for an online system that allows users to search, display and transmit data. As you can imagine, all MLSs and innumerable other online companies use technology that allows users to perform these functions.
CIVIX has been pursuing this patent infringement claim against many online businesses, such as companies like Microsoft, Expedia, Move Inc. (operator of Realtor.com®, Top Producer Systems®, ListHub®, etc.), which have all settled after consulting with legal attorneys regarding this claim.
In May of this year, MRIS (then-largest MLS in the country), also chose to settle with CIVIX, instead of risking the large fees involved with fighting a lengthy legal battle. In response, RMLS™ worked in conjunction with about 50 other MLS providers to ask the National Association of Realtors® to step in to see if they could negotiate a fee for CIVIX to leave the real estate industry alone.
Their response was for MLSs to pay $7.5 million dollars (roughly $9.06 per subscriber).
RMLS™ has paid this fee per subscriber, which amounted to just under $100,000, and as a result, is now covered and cannot be sued for this patent infringement. Furthermore, this settlement covers all of our shareholders, brokers, agents and software vendors in this area.
Last, and maybe the best news of all, is that the RMLS™ Board of Directors voted to pay this fee out of our RMLS™ emergency funds. This means that there will be no special assessment to subscribers and we will not have to raise dues in order to cover this payment.
I think the Board was generous as well as cognizant of today’s marketplace when they decided not to pass the cost on to our subscribers. Although there is no call to action for our subscribers, they should know that they are covered and that the fee has already been paid.
Thank you for your ongoing support of RMLS™.
To view a special video message from Kurt on this topic, go to http://bit.ly/Kurt8242011