Tumbleweed, an enterprise e-mail, file-transfer and firewall services provider based in Redwood City, Calif.,, alleging infringement of two patents related to electronic notification processes and document storage and retrieval. PayPal, an online-payment service, responded with counterclaims, also dismissed in the settlement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
eBay, which, declined to comment on the settlement, which was disclosed in a court filing. Tumbleweed did not return calls or e-mail queries.
The settlement dismissed the claims and counterclaims "with prejudice," meaning the companies agree not to sue each other again on the same items.
eBay has been on the defensive for much of the year concerning software patents. Most recently, AT&T.
In May, the company was found guilty of patent infringement in a case brought by MercExchange, of Great Falls, Va., which prevailed on claims that eBay and its Half.com subsidiary infringed on its patents with their "Buy It Now" option. eBay has appealed the ruling.
And PayPal this quarter settled, now known as Bank One, and Bank One Delaware.
The settlements come amid a broader, as companies and individuals acquire more and more patents, either for offensive or defensive purposes.
Tumbleweed sued PayPal on the basis of three patents: Patent #5790790, "Electronic document delivery system in which notification of said electronic document is sent to a recipient thereof;" Patent #6192407, "Private, trackable URLs for directed document delivery;" and Patent #6487599, "Electronic document delivery system in which notification of said electronic document is sent a recipient thereof."
At the time of its October earnings statement for the third quarter, Tumbleweed had secured 10 licensees of its patents.