Attachmate Buys Novell and Microsoft Keeps the IP Assets Hidden

Tuesday Nov 23rd 2010 by Keith Vance
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With its deal with Novell set to expire, Microsoft arranged for all of the alleged Linux patents to be held by a shadow group called CPTN Holdings LLC.

It was announced today that Seattle-based Attachmate Corp. will purchase Novell, Inc. for about $2.2 billion. While it's no surprise that Novell was sold (it's been up for sale for quite some time), what is interesting is Microsoft's role in this deal.

Buried way down in this International Business Times story, reporter Manikandan Raman writes, "Separately, Novell said it agreed to sell certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corp (MSFT), for $450 million in cash."

If you remember way back in 2006, Microsoft and Novell struck a deal to keep secret what Microsoft claims are patents relating to Linux. That deal was for five years and set to expire in 2011. Now that intellectual property has been sold to CPTN Holdings LLC.

CPTN was set up by Microsoft. There's very little information available about the group, and it doesn't have a website.

ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn writes, "What does this mean for Linux? Nothing changes. Microsoft still claims to control it. The details remain hidden from view. Which means Microsoft still has something to hide from the open source community, and something to hold over its head."


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