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Commerce One patents auctioned off

About 40 patents owned by bankrupt software supplier Commerce One were auctioned for $15.5m (£8m) in a San Francisco bankruptcy court on Monday.

The winning bidder, JGR Acquisitions, has kept quiet about its plans for the patents, which cover web services technology. JGR's lawyer Mark Mullion was reported to have avoided reporters' questions at the Monday hearing.

The rest of Commerce One's remaining assets were sold for $4.1m to Commerce One Acquisitions, a company formed by two large Commerce One creditors, according to Commerce One lawyer Craig Prim.

Earlier this month, one lawyer had predicted that the patents would sell for between $1m and $10m.

The Commerce One patents cover methods for companies to communicate with each other and provide certain types of information when carrying out machine-to-machine transactions over the internet. Patents from Commerce One, which pioneered e-marketplaces, could cover e-commerce technologies widely used by other companies, according to analysts.

JGR beat off two other companies associated with former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold during the auction.

Prim said that filing a reorganisation plan and paying off creditors was the next stage in Commerce One's bankruptcy proceedings. "We have virtually nothing left except for a bit of cash," he said of the company's status.

Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service


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