Feeds

Feds rubberstamp Novell patent deal

Microsoft group will be watched

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The US government will permit the sale of 882 Novell patents to a Microsoft-led consortium after the group agreed revise its deal.

But although the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is letting the deal proceed, it has warned that it will investigate distribution of Novell's patents to the consortium, known as CPTN Holdings.

Giving the green light on Wednesday, the DoJ expressed its concern that the deal in its original form would have damaged the ability for Linux and other open source software to compete.

The DoJ has the power to block corporate mergers and acquisitions in the US. The sale of Novell's patents to CPTN are part of a deal that will see Novell acquired by Attachmate.

The DoJ said that CPTN's original deal would have "jeopardize[d] the ability of open source software, such as Linux, to continue to innovate and compete in the development and distribution of server, desktop, and mobile operating systems, middleware, and virtualization products."

Last year, news of the patent sale set off alarm alarms in the community over the potential implications for open source and Linux given Novell's status as a Linux distro owner and its involvement in open source. Concern was heightened by the fact that the patents being sold have never been made public and that CPTN's members include not only Microsoft, but EMC, Oracle, and Apple.

Under the terms of the revised patent sale deal, Microsoft has agreed to sell the patents back to Attachmate and to then license them. EMC has said it won't acquire 33 patents relating to virtualization software. There's no word on what Apple or Oracle plan to do.

All the patents will be released under a GPLv2 license, and neither the CPTN nor its members will be allowed take any action or make any statement influencing or encouraging either Novell or Attachmate to modify which of the patents are available under the license.

Details of the revised deal were first published by Open Source Initiative (OSI) president Michael Tiemann, after he was asked for his response by German regulators, who are also examining the terms of the transaction and its potential impact on open source.

Tiemann voiced his concern over continued ownership of the patents by Apple and Oracle in light of the companies separate statements and actions against various open-source projects and Java groups.

The DoJ and German federal regulators cooperated closely on examining the deal, the US department said on Wednesday. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.