Ebay Loses Patent Challenge

Internet Week > > Patent Ruling Presents Stiff Challenge To EBay > March 16, 2005
The controversy over Internet patents is about to heat up again. An appeals court on Wednesday decided in favor of MercExchange in its legal fight with eBay Inc., the online auction powerhouse.

The court affirmed one of MercExchange’s patents, threw out a second, and reinstituted the most controversial patent, which had been struck down by an earlier court, over the process of conducting online auctions.

The affirmed patent covers Ebay’s ‘Buy It Now’ feature and the reinstated patent covers online auctions. It is not clear what Ebay’s reaction will be, though MercExchange is seeking an immediate injunction to enforce the ‘Buy it now’ patent.