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Intellectual Property Never Dies

Seems like old name brands never die, their intellectual property just gets sold off at Internet auctions. At least that appears to be the case for the bankrupt Montgomery Wards, Service Merchandise and Heilig-Meyers.

Bid4Assets, a Silver Spring, Md.-based company that specializes in auctions of goods for both the government and businesses, said it is partnering with IP Recovery (an intellectual property liquidator) to auction off business software licenses from the three defunct retailers.

When the licensing deals were first made, they had an aggregate value of about $30 million, said Jenny Monroe, vice president for marketing at Bid4Assets.

Assets for sale at the company's site (slogan: We auction opportunity) include software licenses for applications such as CRM, database management and security technology.

Bid4Assets said that records indicate that all licenses are current within the last 12 months, and if not up to date, the value of bringing the software current will be deducted from the accepted bid by the seller.

Licenses are from vendors such as Cisco, BMC, GT Software, Information Builders, Informix, PeopleSoft, Siemens and Vertex, the company said.

Monroe said that "all the sales are subject to final approval" by the various bankruptcy courts. IP Recovery was appointed by the courts to determine the value of the property and to dispose of it.

Privately held Bid4Assets was founded in 1999 and focuses on government and private industry, offering online, traditional and webcast auctions, as well as storefronts and Private Auction Exchanges.