The seven year legal battle between eBay and MercExchange has finally been settled. eBay have bought the three patents that MercExchange had accused them of violating, as well as some additional related technology.
MercExchange had argued that eBay’s Buy It Now feature infringed their patents and sued eBay in 2001. In 2003, a jury ruled in MercExchange’s favour and awarded them $35million in damages. This was reduced to $25million on appeal. After another judge refused to grant an injunction against Buy It Now, giving a damning indictment of MercExchange’s actions. The damages, increased to $30million with interest, were upheld last December.
No further terms of the settlement were revealed, but eBay have said they do not expect it to affect 2007 results or 2008 guidance issued with the Q4 earnings release last month.