Thursday, June 14, 2007

MercExchange back in Court with eBay

The MercExchange v eBay 'buy it now' button patent dispute, a case I mention in my book, has returned to court.

"A small Virginia company in a patent fight with eBay asked a federal judge Tuesday to stop the online auction powerhouse from using its "Buy It Now" feature, which allows shoppers to buy items at a fixed price.

A federal jury found in 2003 that eBay had infringed Great Falls, Va.-based MercExchange's patent. But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to patent-reform advocates when it ruled that MercExchange was not automatically entitled to a court order blocking the offending service.

Now, U.S. District Court Judge Jerome B. Friedman must decide whether MercExchange is entitled to a permanent injunction. The judge did not say when he would rule."

I know this is a David v Goliath kinda battle but I'll repeat what I say in the book - it is ridiculous that anyone could have a patent monopoly on a web click button. The chief justice of the Supreme Court basically even expressed puzzlement during the hearing last year that something so obvious could have received a patent.

No comments: