eBay Takes a $30 Million Hit Over Buy It Now Patent

A Federal Court judge has found that MercExchange LLC is due $30 million from eBay in compensation for a patent breach of MercExchange’s “Buy It Now” patent, a long standing feature available on eBay auctions.

The case started back in 2001, and in 2003 a jury found in favor of MercExchange. According to the Wall Street Journal, the case triggered a review by the U.S. Supreme Court over whether injunctions or damage awards are sufficient remedies in patent cases, with a ruling in 2006 that “all but required injunctions in patent cases.” eBay convinced the court in September that damages alone would suffice in this case given the ruling, leading to the $30 million today.

MercExchange has said they will appeal the denial of its request for an injunction, but welcomed the $30 million in damages. eBay also plans to appeal the ruling.