Bidder’s Edge Appeals Injunction

A federal court’s ruling to grant eBay
Inc.
an injunction against Bidder’s
Edge Inc.
led the popular auction portal to seek a stay of the
preliminary injunction Friday.


Bidder’s Edge made the announcement after a federal judge for the Northern
District of California handed down an injunction to staunch the auction
portal’s creation of auction indexes. The injunction will go into effect
June 8.


The Bidder’s Edge site features a search service that allows visitors to
track auctions on a number of auction sites. But eBay argued that Bidder’s
Edge does not have the right to create an index of eBay auctions without its
permission.


U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte, said eBay would
most likely win its argument when the suit goes to trial. Whyte said that if
anyone was free to create an index of the eBay site, the resulting traffic
on the site could make it more difficult for auction customers to use the
service. In a written statement, Whyte likened Bidders Edge’s play to
trespassing.


“The law recognizes no such right to use another’s personal property.”


James Carney, president and chief executive officer of Bidder’s Edge, said
he was disappointed, but not surprised, by the ruling.


In a conference call Friday, Carney said such rulings were unfamiliar territory for judges because the Internet is presenting different challenges to lawmakers’ decision making. When asked if he thought his fimr was trespassing, Carney said no.


“It would be trespassing if a password was required to log on to a site, but this is not the case,” Carney said. “These sites are open to all. That does not constitute trespassing. The Internet is not a ‘real property’. The judicial system needs guidance in these matters.”


eBay sued Bidder’s Edge last year, accusing the auction portal of
trespassing on its site and violating its copyright and trademarks.

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