Feeds

Feds rubberstamp Novell patent deal

Microsoft group will be watched

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.