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Left to right are SILVAR Los Altos/Mountain View District Chair Katherine Frey, President Karen Trolan, President-elect Denise Welsh, De Anza College Development Director Dennis Cima, Dean of the Disability Resource Center & Veterans Programs at Foothill College Teresa Ong, Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation Executive Director Tess Chandler, and Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation President Eileen Giorgi. the presentation took place at the December 16 Los Altos/Mountain View District Holiday Breakfast at the Los Altos Golf & Country Club.

 

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), has created a scholarship endowment for student veterans at Foothill and De Anza Colleges. “The John Tripp-Silicon Valley REALTORS® Veterans Scholarship Endowment” was formally presented to officials of both colleges last week at the Los Altos Golf and Country Club.

The scholarship endowment was created by the REALTOR® foundation in memory of John Tripp, a longtime REALTOR® who died on December 27, 2015. Tripp was a veteran of the Korean War and served his country with honor and distinction from 1947 to 1956.

A REALTOR® for over 50 years and past president of SILVAR and its charitable foundation, Tripp was instrumental in “REALTORS® Honor Veterans,” the fundraising event held last year to establish a veterans scholarship fund to support eligible U.S. veterans residing in SILVAR’s traditional service area who wish to further their education. The event raised approximately $40,000.

Earlier this year, the foundation presented $10,000 each to Palo Alto University and West Valley College. The remaining funds went to the scholarship endowment to Foothill-De Anza Foundation, an auxiliary organization of the Foothill-De Anza Community Colleges District.

“In all he did, John emphasized education, ethics and the Golden Rule. The opportunity to grow through education was very near and dear to his heart, and with the establishment of this endowment, we honor his contributions to our community and our profession,” said Charitable Foundation president Eileen Giorgi.

“This is a perpetual scholarship that will grow through the years and be here even after we are all gone,” said Tess Chandler, executive director of Foothill-De Anza Foundation. “This endowment will give our student veterans from both colleges needed assistance to reach their academic goals.”

The endowment will pay out a $1,000 award each year – $500 for a student veteran on each campus. The awards can be used for book vouchers student fees and/or other education expenses.

 

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) successfully beat a patent troll threatening real estate offices. Data Distribution Technologies (DDT) sued and threatened several real estate businesses over the use of a technology related patent.

DDT claimed their patent, titled “Web-Updated Database With Record Distribution by Email,” covered systems that provide agents and consumers with online searchable real estate databases that can update users via email about new information that comes available on those databases. NAR challenged the patent’s validity before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit on behalf of its members.

Under a settlement agreement, DDT must refrain from enforcing its patent in the real estate industry. The settlement also specifically protects NAR members, associations, MLSes, affiliates, and other related entities from potentially costly litigation.

Patent trolls are companies that own a large quantity of patents. Often, they do not produce any goods. The business model is to just own patents and sue or threaten to sue anyone for patent infringement. As small business owners, REALTORS® are exposed to these threats of litigation, often for using basic business technology like drop-down website menus, mapping features and online checkout carts or scan-to-email technologies.

NAR supports significant patent law reform in order to prevent overbroad patents and unfair litigation.

 

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