Monday, May 15, 2006

EBay Wins! (at least for now)

The US Supreme Court has reversed a Federal Circuit decision enjoining eBay from practicing two business method patents owned by MercExchange that read on EBay's "Buy-It-Now" feature. The Supremes held that the Federal Circuit erred in not applying in patent cases the traditional four-factor test that must be considered when deciding whether to grant injunctive relief. They thus sent it back to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to apply the four equitable factors:

"a plaintiff seeking a permanent injunction must satisfy a four-factor test before a court may grant such relief. A plaintiff must demonstrate: (1) that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies available at law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to compensate for that injury; (3) that, considering the balance of hardships between the plaintiff and defendant, a remedy in equity is warranted; and (4) that the public interest would not be disserved by a permanent injunction." See EBAY INC., ET AL., PETITIONERS v.MERCEXCHANGE, L. L. C., 547 U.S. ___ (2006), Slip Op. at 2, available at


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