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Supreme Court sides with eBay

May 15, 2006 at 1:27 PM

WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday unanimously sided with eBay Inc. in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by MercExchange LLC of Great Falls, Va.

The high court ruling overturns a federal appeals court ruling that said trial judges are required to issue an injunction against a company found guilty of patent infringement.

"A plaintiff seeking a permanent injunction must satisfy a four-factor test before a court may grant such relief," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the decision.

The patent in question is eBay's "Buy It Now" function in online auctions.

The high court also ordered lower courts to review the eBay case again and decide whether an injunction is appropriate.

Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy writing a concurring opinion.

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