As we recently reported, as Novell folds as an independent company as part of its acquisition by Attachmate, there is a significant patent twist. When Novell put together its deal to be acquired, the deal included the sale of a whopping 882 patents to a consortium backed by Microsoft, and it wasn't until recently that the curtain was raised on who Microsoft's partners in that consortium are. They are Apple, Oracle and EMC--some of the biggest proprietary technology companies on the planet, as is Microsoft. The consortium, called CPTN Holdings LLC, is now gaining some significant scrutiny. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has asked the German Federal Cartel Office to investigate CPTN's patents.
According to the statement from OSI:
"The fact that Microsoft was leading the takeover of Novell’s patents was itself alarming to the open source community, but when it was revealed that Microsoft had recruited Oracle, Apple, and EMC to be co-owners of the patents, the OSI Board felt compelled to request that competition authorities take a closer look at the proposed transaction. We found that the German Federal Cartel Office was open to receive comments from the public about this transaction during the month of December, and so we drafted and sent a letter outlining our concerns and requesting that they investigate this transaction thoroughly. We have received an acknowledgement of receipt by the department in charge, and we stand ready to offer any additional assistance that may be required by investigators should they ask for such help."