Friday, March 23, 2012

Ebay v. Buyers Edge case brief

Ebay v. Buyers Edge, District Ct. of Northern CA, 2000
-eBay motion for preliminary injunction and wants to enjoin BE accessing computer system. P is internet based, person to person trading site and D is auction aggregation site designed to offer online action buyers the ability to search across number online auctions
Test of Preliminary Injunction – Likelihood of success on the merits and possibility or reparable injury OR serious questions going to the merits were raised and balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor
Trespass on the case (chattel)D intentionally and without authorization interfered with P possessory interest and was proximate result in damage, additional element of proof that there was damage

-Holding – P strong showing likely to prevail on merits on trespass claim and possibility of irreparable harm
  1. Tragedy of Commons – if P can’t protect itself, not incentive to avoid raiding eBay and it eventually crash and deplete the commons
  2. Public Interest – Internet will cease to function if rights are not respected and that will impact the public
Court says this feels like real property and BE is occupying a piece of it and making it unavailable to its owner
  1. Cyberspace isn’t real estate but feels like it
  2. Reason the trespass to chattel claim likely to succeed is the use of the bandwidth, there has been an interference with eBay’s possession or right which lessons the value property
-In the patent infringement context, the Federal Circuit held that a prelim. inj. may be based on the harm that would occur if a p.i. were denied and infringers were encouraged to infringe a patent during litigation
-In the copyright infringement context, once a P has established a strong likelihood of success on the merits, any harm to the D that results from the D being preliminary enjoined from continuing to infringing is legally irrelevant.
adversary inference – ebay wants it since BE destroyed the info (logs) – would say that since they destroyed it, court should infer that they did it

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