EBay v. MercExchange ruling by US Supreme Court on 15 May 2006
eBay v. MercExchange is a case decided in 2006 by the US Supreme Court. The ruling may slightly reduce the problems caused by patent trolls by increasing the requirements faced by a patent holders who seek injunctive relief.
Subjecting injunctive relief to higher requirements
Public Patent Foundation summarised this ruling thusly:
[T]he Supreme Court agreed with PUBPAT and unanimously reversed the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's previous habit of automatically granting injunctions in patent infringement cases. Instead, the Supreme Court held that ... [o]ne of the four factors to be considered by a court before granting a permanent injunction in the future is the impact any such injunction will have on the general public.
Patently-O comments that the higher standards of this four point test are further confirmed by Supreme Court's Monsanto v. Geertson ruling:
An injunction is a drastic and extraordinary remedy, which should not be granted as a matter of a course.
Related pages on en.swpat.org
- The decision: 05-130.pdf
- Wikipedia: eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.
- Amicus brief by Public Patent Foundation
- The Software Patent Mess - Why the eBay Supreme Court case matters so much, by Sam Williams
- "Patents that Exhibit "Potential Vagueness and Suspect Validity"". http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2010/07/patents-that-exhibit-potential-vagueness-and-suspect-validity.html. "In eBay v. MercExchange (2006), the Supreme Court ruled that an adjudged infringer should only suffer permanent injunctive relief once the traditional four-factor test of equity had been satisfied. This general priciple was recently supported by the non-patent Supreme Court case of Monsanto v. Geertson (2010). In Monsanto, the court wrote “An injunction is a drastic and extraordinary remedy, which should not be granted as a matter of a course.”"
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