The latest Patent Office decision could have an impact on upcoming District Court actions in this matter. "The Patent Office rulings have put a major cloud over MercExchanges's key patents," according to eBay Vice President of Intellectual Property, Jay Monahan. "eBay has maintained all along that the patents are not valid, and the Patent Office seems to agree," said Monahan.
The decision to call the Merc�s patent void in my mind is a much bigger deal than little news listings I�ve seen. Merc wanted to sue Ebay for an additional 120 million because they haven�t removed the �buy it now� and probably would have got it. In addition Ebay would have paid the Merc royalties because it would have been cheaper than removing the �buy it now� technology all-together. This could have easily shaved over a billion over the life of the patent.
Bottom line, the Merc shouldn�t have gotten greedy. They could have walked w/ 30 million. It seemed stupid to begin with, how can you patient the sale of goods over the internet which is basically what a �buy it now� is. I can �buy it now� at Amazon.com, Wal-Mart.com, etc. Only difference is e-mail also has auctions.