The following is a blog entry from VAR Buzz.
Posted by Andrew Kantor
NAR is trying something new. In its latest Call for Action, it wants Realtors across the country to reach out to the Senate via Twitter. The issue: patent trolls.
Patent trolls are a threat to America’s economy and have increasingly become a financial and legal burden on individual REALTORs, MLSs, and our state and local REALTOR associations. Patent trolls are companies that use patents as legal weapons rather than to produce products or create new innovations. These trolls send threatening demand letters, seeking payment from small businesses like REALTORs, for using common business technologies like scanner-copiers; drop-down website menus; or even mapping features.
Fighting a troll in court can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Increasingly, tech innovations are driving the delivery of real estate services. Our members know firsthand that patent trolls divert significant time and money from their businesses. Without needed reforms that reinforce legitimate patent rights and curtail frivolous litigation schemes, REALTORs’ ability to grow, innovate and better serve modern consumers will be put at risk.
You can help out either of two ways. Hop onto Twitter and send something like the following, recommended by NAR (just cut and paste):
@MarkWarner: As my senator, I urge you to protect #REALTORS from abusive #patenttrolls #FixPatents now!
@SenKaineOffice: As my senator, I urge you to protect #REALTORS from abusive #patenttrolls #FixPatents now!Tweet