EBay lost its pending patent lawsuit on Tuesday and was ordered to pay $35 million in damages to Thomas G. Woolston. Woolston, a patent lawyer and founder of MercExchange, filed for the patents in question in April of 1995, several months before EBay was launched. The patents are for EBay’s “Buy it now” functionality and its Half.com business model.

Talk about being at the right place at the right time. When Woolston filed for those patents he had no way of knowing that a huge and successful Internet company would eventually infringe on them. You got to admit, a $35 million payday is not bad. Sad thing is that he needs to beat EBay twice, since an appeal is almost inevitable.

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