Supreme Court Provides Injunction Guidance in eBay Case
“A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with eBay in an ongoing patent spat, handing down a ruling that could make it harder for some patent holders to force shut-offs of infringing products in the future.
“About six weeks after hearing oral arguments, the justices on Monday ruled that the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit was wrong when it issued a permanent injunction that would have prohibited eBay from using patents held by MercExchange, a small, Virginia-based company. That injunction, which was put on hold pending the Supreme Court appeal, followed a 2003 jury finding that eBay’s ‘buy-it-now’ feature, which allows customers to purchase items without participating in an auction, had infringed on two of MercExchange founder Tom Woolston’s patents.
“The high court’s decision should reduce the likelihood that infringing products will be shut down automatically and it should supply greater bargaining power to accused infringers seeking out-of-court settlements, industry lawyers said Monday. That development should address a major complaint from the technology industry, which has argued that it’s unreasonable for an entire product, which often relies on thousands of patents, to face shutdown when as few as one component infringes. They’ve said monetary damages should be enough in such situations.”
Anne Broache. Supreme Court Rules In Favor of eBay. News.com. May 15, 2006.
Supreme Court of the United States. EBay et al. v. MercExchange (No. 05-130). (.pdf) May 15, 2006.
The Patry Copyright Blog. eBay and Permanent Injunctions. May 15, 2006.
The Faculty Blog, Univ. of Chicago Law School. eBay v. MercExchange: A Brief Analysis. May 15, 2006.
Groklaw. eBay Inc. v. MercExchange — An Analysis by Theodore C. McCullough, Esq. May 16, 2006.
Linda Greenhouse. Justices Order Rethinking of eBay Case. The New York Times. May 16, 2006.
Frank Michael Russell. Tech Giants Applaud Supreme Court Ruling in eBay Patent Case. MercuryNews.com. May 15, 2006.
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