Intellectual Property Keyed to Merges
eBay, Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
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eBay, Inc. (Plaintiff), an Internet person-to-person trading site offers people the ability to sell a variety of items, to the highest bidder, on its website. Plaintiff users must register and agree to a User Agreement, which includes the prohibition of using software “robots” or “spiders” on eBay (Plaintiff). A software “robot” or “spider” is a computer program that performs wide searches, and copies and retrieves information from other websites across the Internet. These programs can search sites by executing thousands of instructions each minute, which can slow those sites to the point where they become overwhelmed and can “crash.” Such crashes or malfunctions can result in the loss of data and interrupt that website’s services. Bidder’s Edge, Inc. (Defendant) is an online “auction aggregation” site that offers buyers the ability to search the World Wide Web by using the “robot/spider” search capacity, allowing the buyers to search several auction websites at one time rather than one-by-one. Plaintiff and Defendant negotiated to agree to terms that would allow Defendant to access Plaintiff’s site, but when negotiations broke down, Plaintiff tried to block Defendant by using software that can interrupt the “robot/spider” searches. A lawsuit was filed and eBay (Plaintiff) moved for preliminary injunctive relief to stop Bidder’s Edge (Defendant) from accessing Plaintiff’s website.
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