September 30, 2002 |
On a typically sultry summer afternoon in the nation's capital, EBay Inc. attorney Andrew Kumamoto walked into a conference room to talk patents with a Virginia inventor. That discussion, held to gauge EBay's interest in acquiring patents held by Tom Woolston and his company, MercExchange, has led to a David-and-Goliath confrontation that some consider nothing more than an attempt to pick EBay's pocket.
March 30, 2005 |
Online auction giant EBay Inc. has won a round in a patent-infringement battle over the technology behind its "buy it now" feature. An appeals court this month upheld a $25-million verdict against EBay in a suit filed by MercExchange, which claimed that the larger company was improperly using its technology. But on Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued an initial finding that one of MercExchange's patents underlying the case should be revoked.
March 30, 2006 |
The Supreme Court debated the rights of inventors Wednesday, weighing in on a dispute between EBay Inc. and a small Virginia patent holder. The case's outcome could mean millions of dollars for inventors working in their garages or in large pharmaceutical labs -- including those who develop a product and those who opt only to patent ideas.
March 17, 2005 |
In a decision that could force EBay Inc. to change some of its auctions, a federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a ruling that the e-commerce powerhouse infringed a patent owned by a small Virginia business. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said EBay's fixed-price auctions and some of its online payment methods violate a patent obtained by Great Falls, Va.-based MercExchange Inc., which sued EBay in September 2001.
May 14, 2005 |
A federal appeals court issued a stay involving a patent lawsuit that might require EBay Inc. to change its "Buy It Now" feature while the Supreme Court considers a request to review the case. The online auction giant had petitioned the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington for the stay. In 2001, MercExchange sued EBay, alleging that it infringed two of its patents related to fixed-price trading.
August 12, 2003 |
EBay Inc. on Monday said it took a $30-million charge in the second quarter after a federal court ruled against the online auction house in a patent infringement case. The charge reduces EBay's second-quarter earnings by about 16%. A federal judge last week ordered EBay to pay MercExchange $29.5 million for infringing an e-commerce patent that MercExchange said was key to EBay's "Buy It Now" feature. The charge reduced EBay's quarterly net income to $91.