Two months ago, a jury ruled that eBay was infringing on some guy's patents for online auctions. The guy, who never did a damn thing with the patent, claims that "patents help protect the little guy." Protect him from what? He didn't do anything with the idea. eBay didn't steal the idea from him. They just both happened to come up with a similar idea. The difference is that eBay actually innovated and did something with the idea. Following the lawsuit, eBay asked the judge to throw out the jury's decision, but the judge has decided not to. Instead, he's ordered eBay to pay this guy $29.5 million for doing nothing. This encourages innovation how? The $29.5 million is just slightly less than the $35 million the jury recommended. I'm assuming eBay will quickly appeal.
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