eBay Settles Patent Suit With MercExchange

Will purchase 3 patents

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[ Technology]

eBay and MercExchange have reached a settlement that finally puts to rest a patent dispute that at one time went as high as the U.S. Supreme Court and that started back in 2001.

eBay and MercExchange had been involved in litigation over MercExchange’s patents and eBay’s online auctions and fixed price related ecommerce operations.

As part of the settlement, eBay will buy all three patents involved in the lawsuit, along with additional related technology and a license to another search related patent portfolio that was not named in the lawsuit. eBay says the assets will allow it to enhance its operations and safety efforts on its sites.

In 2003 a jury found eBay’s "Buy It Now" feature infringed MercExchange’s patents for an online marketplace. A jury sided with MerExchange and awarded the company $30 million for infringement, which was later reduced to $25 million on appeal.

"We’re pleased to have been able to reach a settlement with MercExchange," said Mike Jacobson, eBay Senior Vice President and General Counsel.

"In addition to resolving the litigation, this settlement gives us access to additional intellectual property that will help improve and further secure our marketplaces."

Terms of the settlement are confidential and were not released. eBay says it does not expect the settlement to affect its 2007 results or its 2008 financial guidance issued with it fourth quarter earnings in January.

eBay Settles Patent Suit With MercExchange
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  • bola

    Expect a crack down on "Buy It Now" and "auction" sites for the next 7 years the patents have left of life.

  • http://www.sellmyinventory.com sellmyinventory.com

    Does this mean Ebay will limit all businesses to enforce a buy it in a minute selling format? They own buyitnow and i’m sure their greed will produce some outlandish lawsuits.


    expect it!

  • http://www.mastermarketer.info Master

    Now I’m sure they will increase BIN fees to cover the 25million they lost. They should have stipulated no increase in fees for 2 years to cover our butts!

  • Depak

    I can imagine many auction site owners being a never wreck now as their business are about to go under.  Ebay owns Buy It Now and the auction algorythm.  This affects police auctions, government auctions, repo auctions, mom & pop stores, etc.  I assume all stores are at risk.

    Isn’t this buyout illegal?  I’m just asking.  I’m clueles about this but… Ebay has the auction monopoly on the internet and now there is truly no hope to beat them as they own those patents.  Just asking.

  • Guest

    ah haha ha ha . maybe they should ban ebay from trading for 90 days like selelrs are . then they have to fax some personal crap over an insecure phone line to begin trading again . ebay you blow big time its nice to see you ahve been hit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    its a pity  MercExchange cant leave bad feedback ! hahahahaaa

  • http://www.encyclopedia.com/ find articles


    Great article.  Interesting case though and it will definitely set some interesting precedents.

  • Guest
  • http://www.proxy-uno.info/ Proxy Comm

    Ebay is so incredibly greedy…don’t they make enough money as it is?

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