SUSE safe from Novell patent sale: Linux Australia

 

Novell to sell 882 patents to Microsoft.

Novell's open source SUSE Linux range would likely be protected from the company's plan to sell 882 patents to a Microsoft consortium, according to Linux Australia.

The US$450 million (A$456 million) patent purchase agreement was announced this week alongside Novell's $2.2 billion acquisition by US-based Attachmate.

Attachmate planned to operate Novell as two business units - Novell and SUSE - and would join them with its other holdings, Attachmate and NetIQ.

According to US Securities and Exchange Commission documents, the acquisition was subject to the conclusion of Novell's dealings with Microsoft consortium CPTN Holdings.

Novell agreed to sell "all of Novell's right, title and interest in 882 patents" to CPTN, which was reportedly registered as a company on November 4.

Neither Microsoft nor Novell would comment on technologies encompassed in the Patent Purchase Agreement.

Microsoft declined to disclose which other technology companies were part of CPTN, stating only that it was "pleased to be a part of the acquisition of certain intellectual property assets of Novell."

"Microsoft looks forward to continuing our collaboration with Novell into the future, to bring mixed source IT solutions to customers," stated its corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing, Horacio Gutierrez.

Linux Australia president John Ferlito did not expect the deal to negatively impact the open source community, as SUSE Linux was protected by the General Public License v3, which excluded "discriminatory patent licenses" like those issued by Microsoft.

That clause was inserted to the GPL following Microsoft's 2006 partnership with Novell, which was heavily criticised by the open source community at the time.

Ferlito speculated that Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and IBM were more likely buyers of Novell's Unix-related patents.

The new patent agreement was likely related to ongoing antitrust litigation (pdf) between Microsoft and Novell over the latter's WordPerfect software, he said.

Novell's 'firestorm' over 2006 partnership

Last week, Novell's senior vice president and general manager of open platform solutions Markus Rex told iTnews that the company suffered a "small firestorm" over the 2006 partnership.

Microsoft spent a total of US$434 million on the Novell partnership, including sales and marketing initiatives, SUSE Linux licenses, and improving interoperability.

"I am not religious at all," said the former Linux Foundation CTO, referring to the vehemence that proprietary giant Microsoft often elicited from open source advocates.

"Initially, there was a small firestorm from the open source community," Rex recalled. "It has really calmed down."

"I think we could have done a better job communicating what our intentions were," he said.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


SUSE safe from Novell patent sale: Linux Australia
 
 
 
Top Stories
Photos: iTnews Benchmark Awards countdown begins
Just a few days left until entries close for 2014.
 
Australian Govt to rethink cyber security strategy
Six-year old policy to be refreshed.
 
The failure of the antivirus industry
[Blog post] Insights from AVAR 2014.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
More 4G from Optus in Darwin
Nov 21, 2014
Click to see where Optus has expanded coverage to the suburbs near Darwin.
Optus steps up regional 4G coverage
Nov 20, 2014
Once 700Mhz services are working, Optus claims regional users will have a "faster and more ...
This Huawei 4G phone costs $99
Nov 12, 2014
The $99 Huawei Ascend Y550, available through Vodafone, enters the budget market as one of the ...
4G smartphones: Microsoft's Lumia 830
Nov 7, 2014
Microsoft has announced its flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 830 4G, will be available in ...
Do you direct debit customers? Read this
Oct 10, 2014
Authorities have been targeting direct debit practices with iiNet and Dodo receiving formal ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  38%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  20%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  5%
TOTAL VOTES: 1069

Vote