Web services sold off to highest bidder

Summary:Well, they let them slip away. Thirty-nine patents, many of which describe Web services methods, were sold off to a "mystery" bidder at the federal bankruptcy court in San Francisco yesterday on December 6.

Well, they let them slip away. Thirty-nine patents, many of which describe Web services methods, were sold off to a "mystery" bidder at the federal bankruptcy court in San Francisco yesterday on December 6.

left

The San Jose Mercury News (registration required for link) reports that "Bankrupt Internet software maker Commerce One Inc. auctioned off dozens of prized online patents for $15.5 million in a sale that could provoke a legal scuffle over whether the new owner is entitled to collect royalties from a long list of technology heavyweights. A secretive company called JGR Acquisition Inc. wrested the patents from two other bidders with ties to former Microsoft Corp. chief technology officer Nathan Mhyrvold, who is now running a startup that hopes to accumulate a treasure chest of valuable patents. JRG attorney Mark Mullion of the Dallas law firm Haynes and Boone declined to discuss the company or its plans for the patents."

CommerceNet, the industry consortium, would not respond to my requests for information, but it can be assumed that major vendors took a pass on the idea of collectively bidding on the patents to keep their end-user customers out of legal harm's way. CommerceNet's idea was to have participating vendors chip in about $3 million apiece for the pooled bid -- a mere fraction of vendors' revenues.

We can only conclude that vendors will not put money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting openness. "Open" means open your wallets a little further, please.

A full report on the auction results can also be found here.





Topics: Patents

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.