It appears that online real estate search giant, Zillow, is applying for some pretty interesting utility patents. They currently have in four applications with the U.S. Patent Office, including automatically determining the current value for a home, the capture and use of a building interior data from mobile devices, and connecting and using building interior data acquired from mobile devices.
In a letter to a NAR advisory group Sarah Young, Director fo Real Estate Services and Policy Oversight, expressed concerns…
NAR is reviewing these patent applications to determine if they put our members or the real estate technology companies they use at risk. We would like to set up a conference call with interested RES members to further discuss.
I’m not sure if this such a big deal or not. NAR has looked it to patents before and has helped the industry by fighting and sometimes reaching settlements with patent trolls (RE:CIVIX). It remains to be seen if indeed Zillow is granted these patents, and if so, how they will use them.