EBay Finally Settles Patent Suit

Will buy three patents as part of agreement with MercExchange
By Laila Weir,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 12:17 PM CST
EBay Finally Settles Patent Suit
Meg Whitman, longtime chief executive of eBay, Inc., gives the keynote address to eBay sellers gathered at the eBay Live conference in Boston in this June 14, 2007 file photo. EBay Inc. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008 confirmed Whitman will step down as chief executive of the online auction company on...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – After years of legal battling that escalated to the Supreme Court, eBay has settled a patent-infringement lawsuit by e-commerce technology company MercExchange. The companies aren’t revealing the financial terms, but eBay will buy the three patents that led to the suit. The auction giant said the agreement won’t affect its 2007 results or 2008 financial guidance, reports the Wall Street Journal.

MercExchange sued eBay in 2001, charging its "Buy It Now" interface infringed on MercExchange patents. The case attracted attention to issues regarding patents controlling e-commerce and the ease with which patent plaintiffs were able to win injunctions. In its 2006 review, the Supreme Court curtailed patent injunctions somewhat, saying judges should also consider factors such as the public interest. (Read more eBay stories.)

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