eBay sued for showing live bids on auctions

eBay-Live-Auction-CountdowneBay have been sued for the way they display bids, prices and a countdown timer in the last hour of an auction.

Advanced Auctions LLC explain in their complaint that “eBay’s webpages present bidders with information regarding the time remaining in the auction and the current bid amount. Before the final hour of the auction, Defendant eBay does not automatically update its webpages with this information. Rather, the bidder must manually refresh their browser to request and obtain current auction information. In the final hour of the auction, this information is automatically updated“.

United States District Court CaliforniaAdvanced Auctions LLC apparently wrote to eBay on the 4th of January 2013 requesting that they cease displaying auctions in this manner, prior to suing them on the 13th January in Southern California. They want damages assessed on the basis that in 2011 37% of eBay sales were via the auction format plus interest and fees.

The patent was filed in 2010 and granted in September 2012 and specifically mentions eBay both in references and in the body of the patent. If successful in suing eBay there are many other sites Advanced Auctions LLC could possibly sue, such as the penny auction psuedo-gambling sites which also display bids and time remaining without the user needing to refresh the web page.