eBay wins "Buy It Now" patent dispute - for now

Buy It NowA few years back auction company eBay had the audacity to add a feature that lets customers buy items for a fixed price without bidding in an auction. You know, pretty much like every other retailer on the web.

But MercExchange filed a lawsuit claiming that eBay's "Buy It Now" feature violated a patent held by the company. The suit's been working its way through the court system for the last six years. On Friday, a federal judge denied a request for a permanent injunction, meaning that eBay can keep using the "Buy it Now" buttons.

But it ain't over til it's over. In 2003 a jury awarded MercExchange more than $25 million in damages, which eBay has not had to fork over because of the pending litigation. Now it's up to the patent office to decide whether eBay if violating MercExchange's patent. You know, for clicking a button to buy stuff.

[via Information Week]

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