CommerceOne Patent Auction Teleconference

CommerceNet, a non-profit industry consortium, invites you to participate in an event on the CommerceOne bankruptcy auction of patents that cover key facets of commerce related Internet transactions. The conference will address the impact and possibility of these patents being placed into the public domain. Please register to attend this conference call The conference call will be held at 1:00 pm pst on Monday November 22, 2004. Use the following conference number:

1-866-613-5217 code: 6513935

Auction of Internet Commerce Patents Draws Concern

November 16, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15 – More than three dozen patents said to cover key facets of Internet transactions will soon be auctioned off by Commerce One, a bankrupt software company. But even before the sale, some technology executives and lawyers are worried that potential buyers might wield the patents in infringement lawsuits against companies that are engaged in online commerce, like I.B.M. and Microsoft.

The 39 patents cover basic activities like using standardized electronic documents to automate the sale of goods and services over the Internet. Some intellectual property experts said that these patents, which have broad reach, could be used to challenge Web services like the .Net electronic business system from Microsoft or Websphere software from I.B.M. Those companies declined to comment, saying any discussion would be speculative at this point.

Bidding for the portfolio of patents will begin at $1 million in the auction, which is scheduled for Dec. 6 in federal bankruptcy court in San Francisco. Earlier this month, the patents were carved out from the rest of Commerce One’s assets.

One of the inventors involved, Robert Glushko, who no longer holds the patent rights, fears the winner of the auction might use the patents mainly to impede other companies or to press competitors to pay licensing fees for practices already common in Internet commerce. He is not alone….