MercExchange L.L.C. (MercExchange) (plaintiff) held several patents, including a patent for a business method for an electronic market designed to facilitate the sale of goods between private individuals by establishing a central authority to promote trust among participants. eBay Inc. (eBay) (defendant) operated a website that allows private sellers to list goods they wish to sell by auction or at a fixed price. MercExchange had licensed its patent to other companies and attempted to do so with eBay. MercExchange and eBay did not come to an agreement, and MercExchange sued eBay for patent infringement. A jury determined that the patent was valid, that eBay was infringing on the patent, and that MercExchange should be awarded damages. The trial court refused to issue a permanent injunction. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed, holding that a permanent injunction should have been issued. eBay petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.