eBay Lead the Fight Against ‘Patent Trolls’

eBay will lead the fight against ‘patent trolls’ by heading a coalition of America’s leading technology companies appearing in the Supreme Court.

The so called ‘patent trolls’ are accused of harming intellectual property rights by suing larger firms for patent infringement.

eBay’s case involves the continued dispute with MercExchange over the ‘buy it now’ function on the auction site. The case had already seen an award of damages for $5.5 million but saw no injunction granted. The Court decided against granting an injunction as the technology had not been used by the patent owner.

This is the argument of the leading technology companies. They believe that too many small inventors are registering patents with a view to eventually receiving a large payout from those leading companies which use the technology.

Inventors however argue that if the Courts continue to fail to grant injunctions against patent infringement, then inventors will cease to invent and intellectual property and innovation become redundant.

The eBay case along with the various other high-profile disputes will inevitable be very important to the future landscape of American patent law.

It is of course a difficult balance to achieve, on the one hand, patents should not be allowed to be used as a tool to hold leading companied ransom, however, if an inventor creates something and subsequently receives a patent, they should be entitled to utilise that patent anyway they choose at the same time as preventing others utilising it without a licence.

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