eBay Must Fork over Damages in MercExchange Patent Case
By Ina Steiner
The Federal District Court in Norfolk, Virginia, has entered a final judgment on damages relating to the patent lawsuit against eBay. In May 2003, a jury ruled eBay guilty of willful infringement of MercExchange's '265 patent and awarded damages. On December 11, 2007, Judge Friedman granted MercExchange's motion to certify the judgement.
"Accordingly, finding that judgment as to the validity of the '265 patent and its infringement by the defendants is final, and in light of the fact that no just reason for delay exists, the court orders that judgment be entered on the verdict with respect to the '265 patent, with approprite prejudgment and postjudgment interest as set forth previously by this court."
In a press statement issued Wednesday morning, MercExchange said the amount of the judgement, with interest, is approximately $30 million. eBay had previously amended its second quarter 2003 results to reflect an operating charge in the amount of $30 million.
The court must still rule on whether eBay continues to infringe MercExchange's patents and what damages would be awarded if so. MercExchange is appealing the court's denial of an injunction against eBay fixed-price sales, which make up about 40 percent of eBay's Gross Merchandise Volume. Tuesday's ruling is one small chapter in the epic battle between the two companies that made it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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