The MercExchange-eBay patent case resembles RIM-NTP more and more, as the Patent Office has ruled that the "Buy It Now" feature is obvious and shouldn't be patentable. But it appears that because MercExchange can appeal this ruling, and a final decision may get dragged out, it has little effect on the current Supreme Court case determining whether an injunction is an appropriate action in a case of patent infringement. Like the RIM-NTP case, the court's decision can't take into account what the Patent Office is simultaneously doing, resulting in unfair punishment for non-offenders. Clearly, there is a problematic disharmony between the two areas of the government, and if the Supreme Court rules against eBay, it should embolden more holders of shaky patents to exploit this.
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