Ebay Inc. v. Mercexchange, L.L.C.

547 U.S. 388 (2006)


MercExchange (P) holds a number of patents, including a business method patent for an electronic market designed to facilitate the sale of goods between private individuals by establishing a central authority to promote trust among participants. P sought to license its patent to eBay (D) as it had previously done with other companies, but the parties failed to reach an agreement. P filed a patent infringement suit against D. A jury found that P's patent was valid, that D had infringed that patent, and that an award of damages was appropriate. The District Court denied P's motion for permanent injunctive relief. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed, applying its 'general rule that courts will issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances.' The Supreme Court granted certiorari.