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MercExchange is a technology development and on-line auction company. Their founder's name is Thomas G. Woolston.


The following companies have licensed MercExchange technology as of April 2007.[1]

Issued US Patents[edit]

Patent dispute[edit]

MercExchange was engaged in a legal dispute over an alleged unauthorized use of one of its patents by eBay, via that auction house's "Buy It Now" feature that allow customers to bypass the normal auction procedures. In the 2003 case eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., a jury found that eBay had infringed upon MercExchange's patent and that eBay's infringement caused $35 million in damages to MercExchange, later reduced to $25 million.[2] However, in a 2006 US Supreme Court ruling, MercExchange was found not to be automatically entitled to a court order blocking use of the technology, due to no indication that 'irreparable harm' had been suffered by the company, that the company had never actually used the invention itself and that it had been more than willing to license the technology to others.[3]

The District Court issued an order denying MercExchange a permanent injunction in December 2007,[4] and the two parties reached a settlement, the terms of which are confidential, in 2008.[5]


  1. ^ "Licensed". MerxExchange. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Barisic, Sonja (June 12, 2007). "eBay in Patent Fight Over 'Buy It Now'". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Anthony J. Fitzpatrick (2006). "Patent Infringement Injunctions Will Likely Hold Some Surprises Now". Duane Morris LLP. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  4. ^ Mangalindan, Mylene (December 13, 2007). "EBay Is Ordered To Pay $30 Million In Patent Rift". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "EBay Ends Patent Suit With MercExchange". Huffington Post. Associated Press. February 28, 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2013.