A long-running patent dispute that went all the way to the Supreme Court and then back down to lower courts has settled out of court. The parties, eBay and MercExchange, announced settlement on Thursday. Though the exact terms were not disclosed, eBay announced that as part of the settlement it will purchase from the Virginia firm all three patents at issue in the litigation, as well as related technology and inventions.
MercExchange went to court in 2001 asserting that eBay infringed on its patents when eBay added the "Buy It Now" feature to its online auctions. A jury sided with MercExchange, and on appeal, an injunction was imposed on eBay ordering it to stop using the technology.
It was the injunction issue that went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2006 that injunctions in such cases should not be automatic. The case returned to lower courts and the two parties began negotiating. Sidley Austin's Carter Phillips, who won the case for eBay, said Friday, "I was happy to see it come to an end for the sake of the client."