Feeds

Microsoft's Novell patent cartel dodges German regulators

Reports of death greatly exaggerated

Boost IT visibility and business value

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PC World reported here that plans to create CPTN Holdings have been withdrawn, with the publication citing information from the website of the German Federal Cartel Office.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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
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
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
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
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.