Patent

Why eBay v. MercExchange Should, But Won’t, Be Overruled

As anyone who follows the United States Supreme Court knows, the Court has historically been extremely fond of taking important cases with cutting edge issues, only to dodge the real issues and address some insignificant procedural or hyper-technical issue. Such disappointment is all too frequent, so Supreme Court watchers are seldom surprised when the Court passes on an opportunity to breathe clarity into otherwise unsettled waters. But what the Supreme Court did in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange LLC, 547 U.S. 388 (2006) was far more disappointing. In eBay, the Supreme Court decided to throw out longstanding and well-established Federal Circuit jurisprudence and offered little or nothing in its place. The result has been an extraordinary shift in the balance of power between patent owners and infringers.

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