07/14/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Hartford, CT – Online auctioning firm eBay faces a $3.8 billion lawsuit brought by a company that claims the firm willfully copied six of its patents, as reported by The Register.
If eBay is found guilty of stealing the technology, labeled as willful and malicious infringement, it may be required to pay three times the $3.8bn sum.
According to court documents, XPRT Ventures LLC of Connecticut claims eBay not only stole technology for an online payment system, including PayPal, but then filed to have its own patents on the system approved.
XPRT’s lawyer told IPWatchdog, “What makes this case particularly egregious is the allegation that eBay incorporated our client XPRT’s inventive concepts into one of eBay’s own patent applications without reference to XPRT’s own patent filings. Claims of this patent application were later rejected multiple times based on XPRT’s own patent applications without eBay being able to show earlier invention of such concepts.”
George Likourezos, an inventor working for XPRT, claims to have participated in meetings with eBay to demonstrate the payment technologies. Likourezos reported the aim of the meetings was to build a partnership for both parties to profit. The inventor claims that after the meeting, a lawyer for eBay contacted him to ask for more information on the technology. Likourezos handed it over with the assumption the two were still working as a team.
Apparently, eBay then filed patent applications on its own behalf for the payment technology.
Court documents report that the US Patent Office rejected eBay’s application four times because XPRT’s application was filed two years prior.
XPRT further alleges a lawyer with eBay changed a signature date on a confidentiality agreement.
EBay did not respond to requests for comment.
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