Business & Finance
News
12/5/2005
11:50 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Patent Reform Pending

EBay has changed how old Beanie Babies are bought and sold. Now it may help change how software patents are handled by the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to consider whether a federal-court injunction is warranted to keep eBay from offering a "Buy It Now" feature that was found to infringe on a patent held by MercExchange.

The issue is whether an injunction blocking the use of a technology should follow upon a finding of patent infringement, as almost inevitably happens today. EBay argues that an injunction gives the patent holder unfair advantage in extracting licensing fees; MercExchange contends injunctions protect small inventors against deep-pocketed companies. The precedent dates to a 1908 case involving two paper-bag makers. But given how interdependent computer systems have become, and the communities that can depend on a technology, it's worth rethinking injunctions' role. By hearing the case, the court may be showing it's open to that notion. Says Stuart Meyer, a patent lawyer with the firm Fenwick & West, "Changes are afoot."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.