USPTO Rejects 'Buy it Now' Patent
eBay disclosed Thursday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had ruled in its favor earlier this week, upholding an earlier decision that a patent awarded to MercExchange was "obvious" and should have not been issued. The two sides are currently facing off in the U.S. Supreme Court over eBay's use of the "Buy it Now" feature.
A District Court had found that the service infringed on patents owned by MercExchange. However, instead of issuing an injunction, the court awarded the company a monetary judgment. An appeals court later ruled an injunction was warranted. The rejected patent is central to the Supreme Court case, and eBay said its contents were referred to repeatedly during arguments Wendesday. While MercExhchange is permitted to respond, the auction site said it was unlikely any new arguments would change the USPTO's view.