EBay in patent dispute.
September 30, 2002 9:16 PM   Subscribe

EBay in patent dispute. EBay is currently involved in a patent dispute with someone who claims to have patented the idea of online auctions in 1995. EBay believes it has found prior art in a USENET post from 1994.
posted by CrunchyFrog (7 comments total)
I can remember email "auctions" for extra hockey tickets at my work long before I'd heard of EBay... that was probably in 1995, but I'm quite sure they've been around since companies first started using email. (I have no idea when that would have been)
posted by Stuart_R at 10:08 PM on September 30, 2002

I auctioned my collection of Dragon magazines over FidoNet in 1993 in a Gaming Auctions forum.
posted by mischief at 4:37 AM on October 1, 2002

The very idea that you could patent online auctioning at all is absurd.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2002

I remember drawing up plans for an online swap meet in the summer of 1994. I never did anything about it, and couldn't figure out how to get a BBS with enough lines to be national, but I also had the idea. Apparently everyone else did too :)
posted by jragon at 7:45 AM on October 1, 2002

I invented the internet.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:39 AM on October 1, 2002

There is something really, fundamentally, basically broken with regards to U.S. commerce law when you can monpolize a concept.

The implementation of something, sure - that's the way copyright law works, or trademark law. But the basic idea? It's enough to make one wonder if perhaps corporations don't have the public interest even on the agenda anywhere...
posted by nick.a at 3:27 PM on October 1, 2002

I first came up with the idea of being hungry while on the internet in 1993.
posted by glenwood at 10:07 AM on October 2, 2002

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