CPTN Holdings is still trying to buy Novell's patents

CPTN Holdings is still trying to buy Novell's patents

Summary: Contrary to some stories going around, CPTN Holdings--aka Apple, EMC, Microsoft, and Oracle--is still trying to buy several hundred of Novell's patents.

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When I first read a story that CPTN Holdings-a Microsoft-led group that also includes Apple, EMC, and Oracle--was no longer in the running to buy 882 of Novell's patents, I knew the story couldn't be right. Yes, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) had protested against the patent deal to the German Federal Cartel Office, but just because CPTN has withdrawn a filing to the Office didn't mean that CPTN was giving up on the deal. Far from it.

I suspected that since Attachmate's acquisition of Novell has been delayed by Attachmate needing more funds to seal the deal and Novell had to re-set the acquisition clock thanks to the Christmas holidays, that the closely-associated CPTN deal had run into similar problems. I was right.

Sources close to Novell told me that was indeed the case. The CPTN group will be re-filing to obtain the patents. Their plans haven't changed a bit. A Microsoft representative confirmed that CPTN was still planning on buying the patents. The PR rep said, "This is a purely procedural step necessary to provide time to allow for review of the proposed transaction."

Now, this is not to say that the Novell deal is sure to happen. I find it more than a little odd that Attachmate was still looking for just over a billion dollars to close the deal in late December. Microsoft is already helping Attachmate buy Novell and Attachmate was already getting a steal of a deal on Novell.

Be that as it may, even if Attachmate doesn't end up buying Novell, CPTN can still end up owning Novell's patents! As Andrew 'Andy' Updegrove, a founding partner of Gesmer Updegrove, a top technology law firm, points out, "If the Attachmate deal just doesn't close, whether because of a deterioration in Novell's business, a failure of the Attachmate funding, or whatever … CPTN has the right to cherry pick the Novell patent portfolio."

No, neither Microsoft, nor its CPTN allies, is walking from this deal. The German Federal Cartel Office, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or, least likely, the U.S. Security & Exchange Commission (SEC) may yet put an end to it, but no mere protests from open-source groups are going to frighten Microsoft and friends away.

Topics: Open Source, Legal, Software

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6 comments
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  • And they should continue on as

    a signed contract is just that.
    :|
    Tim Cook
  • SEC Complaints have been filed

    SEC complaints have been filed against the Novell deal and they are being processed. Shareholders are being wildly cheated by these trades without receiving anywhere near fair value.
    jabailo1
  • we demand a DoJ investigation

    into this shady deal.
    M$ and its partners in crime should be exposed and held responsible!
    Linux Geek
    • And we should sue your parents, too

      @Linux Geek as we have to put up with you, so they should be held responsible!
      John Zern
  • RE: CPTN Holdings is still trying to buy Novell's patents

    Fancy that, Big companies, trying to do what big companies do.

    That is make money, but providing something the public wants.

    As regards with patents, what has it got to do with you, or the FSF, or free software law group.

    If you want technology so badly, then go ahead and invent it yourself.

    All this whining about, "oh I cannot use something that someone else invented, and im too stupid to come up with an alternative". and "I just cant progress, untill someone progresses before me, then once I can see and work out what they are doing, then suddenly I can do it too".. just amazing.. :)

    So instead of spending all your time, and life trying to find loopholes in a system that will allow you to benefit from someone elses efforts, when you could be using that time, actually becoming a programmer, I mean a REAL programmer.

    Not the FSF, or OSS definition of a 'programmer', that is someone who is capable of looking at how someone has done something, and to do it exactly the same way.

    Great, if you are a "REAL" programmer, or better yet, a software engineer, then you would be embarrased to have to admit you are at a loss, therefore your only option is to steal idea's off others.

    It's amazing how linux 'suddenly' arrived, and how it looked just like Unix,

    And how GCC arrived, and it looked (and IS) just like unix CC.

    I could go on and on and on, giving examples where OSS has 'invented' something that other groups have been doing for years.

    And when it comes down to it, what you 'invented' was just the application of prior knowledge.

    Then you wonder why you are stuck in a patent thicket.

    If it is a 'cartel' then you are admitting OSS is not a player, in the field. (which is true), but that is not the fault of microsoft.

    It's not their fault that no one can come close to them for their developments.

    Lots can follow them, like OSS, but Free software, and OSS could have been a player, but after well over 20 years, and still being stuck with a Unix based kernel, and everything is just 'bloated and scary'.

    And again, the for RULES that stallman dictates benefits no one, except second rate programmers, and perpetuates the requirement of not being able to develop on your own..

    You have to build on what has come before, and what has come before is OLD, and its of very poor quality.

    Even if you could use the patents, you do not have the skills to use it in a product that would have the same quality and functionality as the original developers of that technology.

    You can never lead if you always follow.
    Aussie_Troll
  • RE: CPTN Holdings is still trying to buy Novell's patents

    Aussie-troll:

    That, was entertaining. But, a bit too long.
    Comic parody requires practice. Maybe you shouldn't practice in public just yet.
    That last line... subtly both immature and ego maniacal. Loved it.
    lbolton@...