A patent owned by Uber Technologies Inc. that had been used to bring patent-infringement lawsuits against Texas real estate firms has been invalidated, thanks to legal efforts by the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with TAR’s argument in a dismissal motion that the patent in question—a method of displaying points of interest on a digital map, such as homes for sales and restaurants—covered claims that are unpatentable. The board wrote in its decision that the Texas Association of REALTORS® “demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the
claims would have been obvious.”

A previous owner of the patent, POI Search Solutions, had sued two real estate firms in Texas in 2015 for infringement. POI Search Solutions was unsuccessful in getting a monetary settlement from either firm and settled for zero dollars with one firm and withdrew its claim against the other.

“We have seen patent-assertion entities—sometimes called patent trolls—go after REALTORS® with frivolous claims of patent infringement,” said TAR Vice President of Legal Affairs Lori Levy. “TAR has taken an aggressive stance against the patent-troll problem to protect our members, and this was a huge win in that battle.”