SAN FRANCISCO — Neither limitless free drinks nor the imploring of a charming British auctioneer could get the crowd at the Ritz-Carlton to buy, much less bid, at the ballyhooed Ocean Tomo patent auction on Friday afternoon.

Of more than 80 lots of intellectual property, only six sold, for a total of $2.785 million. It’s the lowest total since Ocean Tomo set out to make a marketplace for patents six years ago, and far below the $17 million generated at last year’s auction in San Francisco.