Supreme Court to rule on product injunctions in patent cases


Supreme Court to rule on product injunctions in patent cases

Antony Savvas

The US Supreme Court is today set to rule whether automatic injunctions after patent dispute court rulings should be allowed, after eBay lost a case against a smaller on-line auction technology company.

The Supreme Court decision is related to a patent-infringement case brought against eBay by MercExchange, which claims it has the patent for the "Buy It Now" feature used on the eBay auction site.

After winning the patent case against eBay, MercExchange says an injunction to stop eBay using the feature is a fair remedy.

Ebay disagrees and has the support of companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, who fear that losing similar cases could mean them having to pull off the market established products, because a small product component is found to have infringed a patent.

The case has been given greater weight following the threatened injunction against BlackBerry maker RIM, after NTP won its patent case.

Until the two sides agreed on a settlement, RIM was facing the shutdown of its US BlackBerry network.

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