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Microsoft and Apple back away from Novell patent purchase

updated 12:30 am EST, Wed January 12, 2011

Move seen as win for open source

A consortium of several companies, including Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle, has backed away from its plan to buy a large number of Novell patents. The companies had submitted a plan notifying German regulators of the decision to establish CPTN Holdings and purchase 882 of the patents, however the group withdrew its filing on December 30.

The consortium's plans and intentions were never fully revealed, though some speculated the buyout may have been another strategy in a fight against Google or phone makers over the use of Android software. Microsoft, Apple and Oracle are already involved in separate lawsuits focusing on patents allegedly violated in Google's mobile OS.

Many open-source promoters had submitted letters to the German Federal Cartel Office, outlining their arguments against the move, according to a PC World report. The Open Source Initiative pointed out that open-source software is the "sole or leading competition" for several products produced by the CPTN companies.

"The founders and leaders of CPTN have a long history of opposing and misrepresenting the value of open source software, which is at the heart of Web infrastructure and of many of the most widely used software products and services," the OSI wrote.

The CPTN turnaround is not expected to have an impact on Attachmate's acquisition of Novell.

by MacNN Staff



  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    it's cheaper to counter-sue them if they ever sue?

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The patents were all c*** ;)

    I was a big fan of Novell for a long time (we're just now phasing out our NetWare server), but they became irrelevant a long time ago and were unable to do anything significant to change that.

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