Commerce One Patents Go For $15.5 Million — Everyone Waits For The Shakedown
from the wonderful dept
Last month, we mentioned that today was the day when Commerce One’s very, very broad patents would be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Many feared that whoever won would start a patent shakedown scheme, basically holding up all kinds of e-commerce and business-to-business transactions with these broad patents. Among those expected to bid was Nathan Mhyrvold’s Intellectual Ventures — a company that looks to take patent hoarding to new heights. Apparently Intellectual Ventures bid high, but not high enough. The winning bid went to a secretive company named J-G-R Acquisitions for a cool $15.5 million. At this point, it’s unclear what they’re going to do with these patents, but it seems likely that plenty of companies will be hearing from them shortly. Once again, it’s not at all clear how this encourages innovation. It seems to discourage innovation by making companies who are actually doing something (without any knowledge learned from these patents) have to pay up or stop innovating. That’s discouraging innovation.