EBay may bill itself as a global online marketplace, but the company itself does not “offer for sale” any merchandise within the meaning of the Patent Act, an Alabama judge ruled this week.
Chief U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre of the Northern District of Alabama rejected a patent infringement suit brought by a maker of wooden bee traps. Robert Blazer accused eBay Inc. of knowingly offering for sale competing traps that infringe his patent. The Patent Act extends liability to anyone who “makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention” without authority.
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