Monday, November 29, 2004

More on the auction of Commerce One patents

A query for the San Francisco Chronicle in regard to their coverage of the auction of Commerce One's patents. If Commerce One's patents covered the use of Web services utilized by many companies, how come Commerce One went bankrupt?

from the SF Chronicle:

-->On the auction block are 39 patents held by Commerce One, a bankrupt software company in Santa Clara that's shutting down and liquidating its assets. The patents cover technical protocols that underlie popular methods for exchanging business documents over the Internet.

The protocols, also known as Web services, are in wide use. Microsoft, IBM and, presumably, the companies at last week's meeting have incorporated them into their software products and their own business systems, Smith said. Although it may turn out that the patents are too broad to enforce or may be otherwise invalidated if challenged, people are nervous.

"There's a concern that these patents could be used aggressively by a buyer to shake down the whole Web services industry," said Jason Schultz, an attorney at technology activist organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Schultz is helping put together and promote the CommerceNet proposal. <--


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