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Realtors sue Zillow for breach of contract

Lawsuit alleges violation of trade secrets

Move (MOVE) and the National Association of Realtors have filed a lawsuit against Zillow (Z) and Errol Samuelson, chief industry development officer for Zillow, in a Washington state superior court, alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets.

The National Association of Realtors and its subsidiary Realtors Information Network, Inc. joined as plaintiffs in the suit.

"At Move, we take our trade secrets and intellectual property extremely seriously as a valuable asset in our competitive position in the marketplace," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move. "We take action in cases in which we believe our trade secrets have been compromised. We have raised this matter for the courts and believe that the matter will be resolved judiciously."

Earlier this month, Zillow appointed Errol Samuelson to the new position of chief industry development officer to head the company’s real estate industry relations strategy.

In his new role, he will report directly to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.

Samuelson brought more than 20 years of experience, including being a former president of Realtor.com and chief strategy officer of Move, Inc.

According to NAR, they think Samuelson brought even more to Zillow than the announcement indicated.

Late Monday Zillow announced it was bringing on yet another former Move executive. Curt Beardsley joined the company as vice president, industry development, responsible for building and strengthening Zillow's relationships with multiple listing services and other industry partners.

Beardsley, 49, was most recently executive vice president of industry development of Move, where he helped lead products and services at Realtor.com and other subsidiaries.

Zillow will not comment on pending litigation, a spokesperson said.

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