The Buzz: January 14, 2002

It didn't come as the biggest surprise, but USinternetworking-the once-highflying pioneer of the application service provider field-last week finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

USi Finally Files for Chapter 11

It didnt come as the biggest surprise, but USinternetworking—the once-highflying pioneer of the application service provider field—last week finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

At the same time, USi said it had signed an agreement under which Bain Capital Partners, through Bains USi Holdings affiliate, will invest $106 million in the struggling company.

The investment company initially will invest $81 million, with $25 million to follow once certain business milestones are reached.

When all that is done, Bain will own all equity in USi, which hosts and manages software and Web sites.

USi, like other tech companies, has struggled over the past year, searching for ways to cut expenses, including layoffs.

IBM Tops List —Again

IBM and NEC continued last year to keep the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office busy.

The tech companies were again one and two, respectively, among the top 10 corporations receiving patents for inventions. It was IBMs ninth year in a row at the top of the list.

IBM received 3,411 patents, compared with 1,953 for NEC. In 2000, IBM received 2,886 patents. The only other U.S.-based company on the top 10 list was Micron Technology, in fourth place, with 1,643 patents.

Other high-tech companies on the list included Samsung, fifth; Sony, seventh; Hitachi, eighth; and Fujitsu, tenth.

Chem Space Consolidating

The world of chemicals e-marketplaces continues to get smaller.

ChemConnect last week bought competitor, which will make ChemConnect the only major online exchange for trading commodity chemicals. No financial details were released.

Last year, ChemConnect merged with industry-consortia-backed Envera, which enabled ChemConnect to expand its offerings to include facilitating system-to-system fulfillment of orders among buyers and sellers.

The demise of bankrupt energy giant Enron, which runs EnronOnline, also further consolidates the industry.

EnronOnline conducts the trading of chemicals and plastics.