September 15, 2011, 5:45 PM

Borders’ intellectual property goes for $15.8 million

Barnes & Nobles was among the winning bidders.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

In the end the value of the intellectual property of Borders Group Inc., including Borders.com, was only worth $15.8 million.

That’s the combined price that bidders, including Barnes & Noble Inc., paid for pieces of Borders.com at a bankruptcy auction  Thursday afternoon in New York City. Ten bidders participated in the proceedings, including booksellers, major publishing companies and Internet-only retailers. The auction included more than 50 rounds of bidding before the winning bidders emerged, says Streambank LLC, a Boston intellectual property consulting firm that oversaw the action.

The immediate nature of which specific bidders acquired what piece of the Borders web assets has yet to be disclosed. A judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York will make a final ruling on approving the auction winners on Sept. 20.

The auction included bids for the Borders, Waldenbooks and Brentano’s trade names, Internet domain names, and the Borders.com e-commerce site. “We are very pleased with the successful auction,” says Borders CEO Holly Etlin. “The participants clearly recognized the significant strategic value in the Borders name and other assets linked to the Borders customer base, and the Borders estate benefited as a result.”

A separate auction for an unspecified block of Internet Protocol Version 4, or IPv4, addresses, is still ongoing, says Streambank. IPv4 is the current Internet address system, which assigns a unique address to every Internet-connected device.

Borders, No. 200 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, filed for bankruptcy in February.

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