As Expected, Judge Denies eBay Injunction In MercExchange Case

from the no-surprises-there dept

Last summer, the Supreme Court made an important ruling in the eBay-MercExchange patent lawsuit, saying that just because there’s patent infringement it doesn’t mean that a judge should automatically issue an injunction barring the sale of a product. That was an important decision because it brought back some balance to patent lawsuits, because without that ruling, a tiny component of a product could cause an entire product to be pulled from the market. However, the Supreme Court only said that an injunction might not make sense. It never actually ruled on whether it did in that particular case. Now, the lower court has indeed ruled that no injunction is deserved and eBay can continue to use its “Buy It Now” feature that MercExchange claims a patent on. On a second patent, the court ruled that it made sense to wait for the USPTO to rule on whether or not the patent was valid before making a decision. This is basically half-a-win for eBay, though not particularly surprising. It is still too bad that the concept of “Buy It Now” was considered worthy of patent protection in the first place, but that’s an entirely different debate.

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Companies: ebay, mercexchange

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Comments on “As Expected, Judge Denies eBay Injunction In MercExchange Case”

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8 Comments
Casper says:

Wow

I didn’t think there was common sense left in the courts. The whole injunction concept is getting way out of hand. Heck, the whole patent system is out of control. It makes no sense why a patent holder can stop production of a product that has a fractional infringement on their patent, when they don’t even offer a competing product.

The point to patents was to prevent people from stealing an idea and jumping into the same market. It was not intended to be a weapon to stop all innovation because someone might be able to sue you at some point for having a similar process or using a like concept in another field.

Maybe people will pull their heads out of their collective asses and figure out that this system is not working.

Joe Smith says:

Re: Wow

I didn’t think there was common sense left in the courts.

There isn’t but there is a sense of self preservation in some of the Courts and the Supreme Court saw what the Court of Appeal did not: that the decisions coming out of the Federal Courts on patent law were making the courts a laughing stock with the public. Courts cannot survive being laughed at.

custumbill says:

Re: Wow

Casper,

What if you created a program or a piece of one that was good for many applications.. Got a patent for it and before you got to use it in something some big company comes along and takes it for themselves. Oh and lets not forget the millions of dollars they are making because of it. Now lets add to that that they did not or will not pay you a licensing fee.. Now you have to sue them for monies owed you… Would this not get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Wow

an injunction isn’t the way to go though. sue them for the money and that’s fine. if the product is actually *based* on your idea, then maybe an injunction is ok. but if you’re idea is but a small fraction of the entire thing, then no, an injunction is not worthwhile.

if you know they stole the idea from you, then fine, go ahead, sue them, get what’s rightly yours. if you know they just so happened to come up with the idea concurrently, then technically, you shouldn’t sue, but when is that going to stop the average American.

No one is saying don’t sue if you rightly should. Just saying an injunction doesn’t make sense and stifles innovation a lot of the time (so do the lawsuits between the big names).

Anonymous Coward says:

It is still too bad that the concept of “Buy It Now” was considered worthy of patent protection in the first place, but that’s an entirely different debate.

I’m sorry for not adding anything of value here, but that completely baffles me. How is it possible to patent something so small as a “Buy it Now” feature and what exactly makes it “patentable?” There doesn’t appear to be anything unique about the idea.

Mike4 says:

Is "Buy It Now" Really Worthy of a Patent ?

It is still too bad that the concept of “Buy It Now” was considered worthy of patent protection in the first place, but that’s an entirely different debate.

I’m sorry for not adding anything of value here, but that completely baffles me. How is it possible to patent something so small as a “Buy It Now” feature and what exactly makes it “patentable?” There doesn’t appear to be anything unique about the idea.

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

Re: Is

How is it possible to patent something so small as a “Buy It Now” feature and what exactly makes it “patentable?” There doesn’t appear to be anything unique about the idea.

You can’t be serious. Don’t you realize how mind-blowingly stupendous the idea of buying something now is? Good grief, man, do you really want to go back to the dark ages of buying something five minutes from now?

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