Feeds

Microsoft's Novell patent cartel dodges German regulators

Reports of death greatly exaggerated

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A Microsoft-led consortium is still set to buy 882 Novell patents. Reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

PC World reported here that plans to create CPTN Holdings have been withdrawn, with the publication citing information from the website of the German Federal Cartel Office.

CPTN withdrew its application to exist as an entity in Germany on December 20, 2010.

But IT World has pointed out that this relates only to Germany and that CPTN continues to exist as a US limited liability company registered with the Secretary of State for Delaware (see here).

Further, Microsoft has told TechFlash that the withdrawal from Germany is a "purely procedural step necessary to provide time to allow for review of the proposed transaction."

"Procedural" indeed.

Such is the concern over the deal that in December, the OSI lodged an official complaint with the Federal Cartel Office, asking regulators to investigate the sale of the patents.

OSI president Michael Tiemann announced the OSI's request to German regulators in a blog post on December 29, the day before CPTN quietly wrapped up operations.

Tiemann said CPTN "represents a potentially new, and unprecedented threat against open source software."

Backed by Apple, Oracle, and EMC as well as Microsoft, CPTN is spending $450m to buy a bag of Novell patents. The move has upset and angered open sourcers because Novell owns a huge number of open-source related patents. At best, the companies backing CPTN have a working relationship with open source, and at worst, they see open source as a potential threat to different parts of their businesses.

It's not clear yet which patents are being sold, but Novell has said that it will retain the Unix copyrights in its forthcoming role as a subsidiary of Attachmate. The sale of Novell's 882 patents to CPTN are part of Novell's acquisition by Attachmate. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.