Ironic enough, the patents eBay agreed to purchase are the same one the company chose to challenge with the US Patent Office. The agreement between the two parties includes three patents, covering search, online auction, and fixed price sales.

The financial terms of the deal, however, remained under as many wraps as possible:

"We’re pleased to have been able to reach a settlement with MercExchange," read a canned statement from Mike Jacobson, eBay senior vice president and general counsel. "In addition to resolving the litigation, this settlement gives us access to additional intellectual property that will help improve and further secure our marketplaces."

The agreement marks the end of a long and bitter legal war, which ended up in the trenches of the Supreme Court.

It all started back in 2001, when MercExchange sued eBay. The plaintiff said in the filing that eBay’s "Buy It Now" button infringed on three of its patents. The first victory was dated in 2003, when a federal jury ruled in favor of MercExchange. On the down side, a district judge refused to remove eBay’s "Buy It Now" button.

The case went forward to the Supreme Court, which took a "landmark decision" and passed the case back to the district judge. In the end, MercExchange walked away with $35 million, but not with the button.

Apparently, eBay got tired with the legal fuss and decided it was time to wave the white flag of truce.