Xceligent, one of Blue Springs’ largest employers, wants a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit filed against it by real estate listing company CoStar, claiming that the litigation was meant to stifle competition.
Xceligent last Friday formally requested dismissal of a lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas City in December.
Xceligent and CoStar offer similar services by gathering information about commercial real estate — taxes, building size, zoning type, market value and so on — and publishing it online. They’re both essentially the Zillow or Realtor.com for office buildings, retail strip centers and industrial warehouses.
CoStar’s lawsuit says Xceligent routinely misappropriated CoStar’s intellectual property, providing various pieces of evidence that included images appearing on Xceligent’s website that reportedly featured CoStar’s watermark.
Xceligent, in its motion to dismiss, described CoStar as prolific litigators against competitors and explained that commercial real estate brokers provide photos and real estate listing data to both companies. CoStar had said in December that it found several instances of Xceligent lifting intellectual property, but never issued a copyright “takedown notice” in five years, according to Xceligent’s brief.
CoStar said in a statement that Xceligent’s claims are without merit.
Xceligent is an upstart competitor to Washington, D.C.-based CoStar.
The two companies have intertwined corporate histories. CoStar bought LoopNet, a site that offered online real estate listings, in 2012. At the time, LoopNet held an ownership stake in Xceligent.
The Federal Trade Commission settled antitrust concerns about CoStar’s acquisition by requiring that LoopNet divest its interest in Xceligent. Part of the FTC order allows CoStar to request audits of Xceligent’s databases to see if it had improperly obtained CoStar’s proprietary information. Xceligent said CoStar never opted to conduct one of these audits.