The San Jose Mercury reported:
The 430 patents were divided into 78 lots. Patent holders had set a reserve, or minimum price, on 54 lots. Only four of those lots sold, while the other 50 failed to get over the minimum-bid hurdle.
Another 23 lots had no minimum, plunging them into a kind of bargain basement with bidders paying no more than $15,000 for any one of them -- hardly more than the legal costs associated with obtaining a single patent.
Five lots got no bids at all, and one lot was withdrawn.
"Have you all just come to watch me today, or do you intend to bid?" grumbled auctioneer Charles Ross during one low point in the proceedings.
"You're all having a very restful afternoon," Ross said later.