The California Association of Realtors® (CAR)’s recent lawsuit alleging unlawful copyright and trademark infringement of CAR real estate forms against paperless transaction management system (PTM) provider PDFfiller continues with a response filed yesterday, August 22, 2016 by PDFfiller.

PDFfiller denies all allegations of copyright and trade infringement made by CAR. Further, it counters CAR’s claims with an extensive counterclaim and a third-party complaint against Real Estate Business Services, Inc. (REBS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CAR.

Both the counterclaim against CAR’s complaint and the third-party complaint against REBS allege CAR’s and REBS’s obstructionist and exclusive behavior regarding real estate forms constitutes:

  • monopolization, both attempted and actual;
  • unlawful tying of CAR real estate forms to zipForm® software;
  • conspiracy in restraint of trade; and
  • violation of the Cartwright Act and Sherman Act. [Calif. Business and Professions Code §16726; 15 United States Code §§1, 2]

The above allegations collectively represent antitrust violations, by which PDFfiller claims CAR — along with its incestuous network of REBS and zipForm® — is “dangerously close” to achieving a complete and anticompetitive monopoly of real estate forms and related software, preventing other forms providers and PTM providers from competing in California’s real estate forms marketplace in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. [15 USC §§1, 2]

Stay tuned for first tuesday’s continuing in-depth analysis of PDFfiller’s counterclaim and third-party complaint, as well as ongoing coverage of the lawsuit.