Zillow Attempts to Sue NAR and Move, Inc.

The National Association of REALTORS® and Move., Inc., have asked a Seattle judge to deny rival Zillow, Inc., permission to countersue them in connection with a whistleblower letter detailing the alleged use by Zillow of trade secrets belonging to Realtor.com®, which Move operates under an agreement with NAR.

More: NAR Joins Move Lawsuit Against Zillow, Samuelson

The letter, written by a former Zillow vice president, is linked to a suit NAR and Move have filed that accuses Zillow of using stolen information about Realtor.com® to compete unfairly. Zillow wants to countersue NAR and Move for filing the letter in open court and sharing it with the news media, which Zillow alleges defames the company, discloses Zillow’s trade secrets, and interferes with Zillow’s confidentiality agreement with the author of the letter.

In a May 29 filing with King County Superior Court in the state of Washington, where Zillow is headquartered, lawyers for NAR and Move said Zillow is attempting to divert attention from their allegations that Zillow illegally obtained and used proprietary information about Realtor.com®. NAR and Move allege that, as detailed in the letter, Zillow was given Move trade secrets by two former Move executives.

“Zillow is clearly hoping to create a sideshow of Zillow-suing-Move-for-suing-Zillow to distract [NAR and Move] from their claims, send the cost of this litigation through the roof, and make everyone forget the reason we are here to begin with: Zillow paid two former Move officers millions of dollars in compensation in exchange for breaching their fiduciary duties to Move and for revealing … confidential and trade-secret information,” according to the filing.

Zillow claims that NAR and Move should have kept the letter confidential because it should have been apparent that it had to have been written by a current or former Zillow employee who would have had “confidential obligations” to Zillow. NAR and Move’s attorneys, however, said in their filing that Zillow had claimed that the “illegal activities” detailed in the letter were trade secrets in order to get the court to place the document under seal, but then, “in the height of absurdity … is now also attempting to sue [NAR and Move] for defamation based on assertions that it once claimed in court were true.” As a result, “Zillow’s trade-secret argument was a sham,” the attorneys wrote.

The bottom line, attorneys for NAR and Move said, is that “Zillow’s proposed counterclaims are barred by Zillow’s own admissions, by well-established legal principles, or by some combination of the two.”

—Sam Silverstein, REALTOR® Magazine

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The National Association of REALTORS® and Move., Inc., have asked a Seattle judge to deny rival Zillow, Inc., permission to countersue them in connection with a whistleblower letter detailing the alleged use by Zillow of trade secrets belonging to Realtor.com®, which Move operates under an agreement with NAR.

More: NAR Joins Move Lawsuit Against Zillow, Samuelson

The letter, written by a former Zillow vice president, is linked to a suit NAR and Move have filed that accuses Zillow of using stolen information about Realtor.com® to compete unfairly. Zillow wants to countersue NAR and Move for filing the letter in open court and sharing it with the news media, which Zillow alleges defames the company, discloses Zillow’s trade secrets, and interferes with Zillow’s confidentiality agreement with the author of the letter.

In a May 29 filing with King County Superior Court in the state of Washington, where Zillow is headquartered, lawyers for NAR and Move said Zillow is attempting to divert attention from their allegations that Zillow illegally obtained and used proprietary information about Realtor.com®. NAR and Move allege that, as detailed in the letter, Zillow was given Move trade secrets by two former Move executives.

“Zillow is clearly hoping to create a sideshow of Zillow-suing-Move-for-suing-Zillow to distract [NAR and Move] from their claims, send the cost of this litigation through the roof, and make everyone forget the reason we are here to begin with: Zillow paid two former Move officers millions of dollars in compensation in exchange for breaching their fiduciary duties to Move and for revealing … confidential and trade-secret information,” according to the filing.

Zillow claims that NAR and Move should have kept the letter confidential because it should have been apparent that it had to have been written by a current or former Zillow employee who would have had “confidential obligations” to Zillow. NAR and Move’s attorneys, however, said in their filing that Zillow had claimed that the “illegal activities” detailed in the letter were trade secrets in order to get the court to place the document under seal, but then, “in the height of absurdity … is now also attempting to sue [NAR and Move] for defamation based on assertions that it once claimed in court were true.” As a result, “Zillow’s trade-secret argument was a sham,” the attorneys wrote.

The bottom line, attorneys for NAR and Move said, is that “Zillow’s proposed counterclaims are barred by Zillow’s own admissions, by well-established legal principles, or by some combination of the two.”

—Sam Silverstein, REALTOR® Magazine

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DailyRealEstateNews/~3/IwPMDr3LGhc/nar-and-move-ask-judge-block-zillow-countersuit