Top Agent Network, Inc. (TAN) has filed a lawsuit against giant online real estate company Zillow, accusing Zillow of theft of its proprietary trade secrets in the creation of the highly-promoted “Coming Soon” feature. The Top Agent Network lawsuit alleges that Zillow was able to learn exactly how TAN’s confidential program worked by pretending to have interest in investing in it and that this was simply a ploy to gain access and launch a competing product.
TAN CEO David Faudman said, “TAN is based on the principle that collaboration among trusted participants is the key to success and we approached this transaction in that spirit. We believe that Zillow broke this trust by misusing trade secrets that we spent years developing and perfecting.” Faudman further said “We are filing this lawsuit to hold Zillow accountable for its actions.”
According to an article in BusinessWire, Top Agent Network “is a private, member-only online community where the verified top 10% of real estate agents in local markets collaborate and exchange information. TAN agents exchange information relating to a broad range of real estate issues, including upcoming listings (commonly referred to as “pre-MLS” or “Coming Soon” listings), buyer needs, service provider recommendations, agent referrals and other industry matters. TAN has a wide reach within the industry, as their agents typically sell between 75% and 90% of the homes in their areas. TAN’s collaborative model increases the flow of information, benefiting informed sellers by ensuring that their properties get broad pre-MLS exposure and leading to smoother transactions and better prices for clients. TAN is a national leader in this type of exchange.”