As many of you probably remember, last December CoStar filed a claim against its rival Xceligent claiming that Xceligent “build its products on CoStar’s back using, in many instances, low-paid ‘researchers’ in India and The Philippines to copy CoStar content wholesale.” It also cited an unnamed former employee who went on the record to say that 90% of Xceligent’s database was based of information taken from CoStar and its subsidiary LoopNet. The article can be read here.
Now, they are amending their claim to include new evidence to its claim that hundreds of Xceligent employees created 4,000 fraudulant CoStar accounts in order to make more than 1.7 million individual request for information from LoopNet. By using a civil seizure order issued by a Philippine court, CoStar has allegedly aquired new evidence that Xceligent was using a Phillipine company called Avion BPO to conduct what it calls “mass-piracy.”
Part of the evidence includes screenshots that CoStar believes prove that Xceligent researchers were indeed copying information off of the LoopNet site. In one of the several screenshots included in the court documents, an Avion researcher with dual monitors in her workstation, is entering data on into Xceligent’s CDX database on one screen, while simultaneously viewing the corresponding LoopNet listing on her other screen.
The timing of the amended claim comes on the heels of the announcement of a partnership between Xceligent and CompStak, whose users were once on the receiving end of CoStar civil litigation for allegedly posting CoStar data to CompStak.
It also coincides with Xceligent’s efforts to push into the New York market, CoStar’s most valuable territory. This new discovery shows that CoStar has no intention of backing down from this suit, one that the commercial real estate world will no doubt be watching very closely in the coming months.