Mystery bidder snaps up Commerce One patents

Someone pays $15.5m

A mystery bidder, representing the equally mysterious JGR Acquistions, has paid $15.5m for software patents owned by Commerce One.

The lawyer, representing JGR, left court without answering any questions as to the ownership of JGR or what it plans to do with the patents.

Commerce One was a poster child for dotcom mania - it floated for $69m in 1999. Originally a B2B exchange like Ariba and i2 it subsequently reinvented itself as an integration specialist. The firm's assets were auctioned on Monday by the United States Bankruptcy Court. The patents cover protocols relating to web services widely used in the industry, according to CNet.

Several Silicon Valley giants including Google, IBM, Oracle and Sun met last month to discuss a joint defence should JGR try to enforce the patents. The firms also considered pooling resources to buy the patents but this was rejected.

The firms are concerned that JGR will seek royalty payments for protocols which are now widely used.

There were seven other bidders for the patents, including two who remained anonymous.

More at CNET. ®


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