In a move designed to protect the free and open source software community, the U.S. Justice Department has intervened in an intellectual property case involving four dominant IT enterprises. The transaction involves software developer Novell and a consortium made up of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC. The case could be a landmark in broadening the use of the Linux operating system and other open source software worldwide. As part of a $2.2-billion deal to be acquired by Attachmate, Novell agreed to transfer 822 patents to the consortium, CPTN Holdings, for $450 million. The Justice Department, however, had reservations.