Apple, EMC, and Oracle reportedly involved in Novell patent play

Apple, EMC, and Oracle reportedly involved in Novell patent play

According to a recent post on the website of German antitrust authority Bundeskartellamt, or Federal Cartel Office, Apple, Oracle, and EMC are involved with the Microsoft-led consortium CPTN Holdings which is working out a US$450 million purchase of 882 patents from Novell.

The post comes in connection with the last-month announcement by Novell that Attachmate was taking over the company for nearly $2.2 billion. To get its acquisition of Novell done, Attachmate is reportedly selling off $450 million worth of Novell patents to CPTN Holdings.

When Attachmate's $2.2-billion acquisition of Novell was announced on November 22, a carefully-worded statement to the effect said that CPTN Holdings was "a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation"; and that the consortium was making cash payment to get hold of Novell's 882 patents.

Though the December 9-dated document issued by Bundeskartellamt mentions Apple, Oracle, and EMC, it does not divulge the specific patents which have been acquired under the deal set up by Attachmate and its three private equity backers - Francisco Partners, Thoma Bravo, and Golden Gate Capital.

As such, with hardly anything known about the patents that CPTN Holdings will acquire, open-source advocate Florian Mueller - who flagged the Bundeskartellamt document on his blog on Thursday - is of the opinion that there apparently is little cause for immediate alarm about the CPTN Holdings' consortium's business plans linked to Novell's patents.

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