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Novell: We Love Our Software Patents, We Needed More!

Posted in Deception, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, OIN, Patents at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Troll picks cows

Summary: Jeff Jaffe’s broken link (still available in the CTO blog) shows fanaticism for software patents at Novell; Microsoft’s cash infusion for Novell is running out

Jaffe is leaving Novell, as we noted almost 2 months ago. Jaffe’s announcement of departure appeared in Novell’s PR blogs, but the URL from PR blogs was dropped about a day ago*, so links to it broke and instead there is only this direct link. A closer look is worthwhile. Based on the post from Jaffe:

Inventive people who write more software patents per capita than anywhere else.

Software patents: A Novell metric for success.

Our reader Brandon has noticed that too:

Novell – Software Patents = Success


I find it hilarious and interesting that Novell considers a large number of software patents as a good thing. It seems to use this as a measure of their success. This is against the community belief that software patents are bad and immoral. This is a dangerous idea when you consider how much free and open source software is written by Novell. How much software could they force us not to use because of patents?

Jeff Jaffe — just like Novell’s CEO — came from IBM [1, 2], where software patents are seen as a good thing. Jaffe will be leaving while still partly accountable for Novell’s failure and Novell can only pretend to be a friend of Free software with its membership in the OIN (IBM too is the key member, but it does not mean it has an issue with software patents).

“More people need to understand what goes on behind the PR, which is simply posturing.”Novell is very problematic to GNU/Linux as a free (gratis and libre) platform. More people need to understand what goes on behind the PR, which is simply posturing. We are sure that Novell employees are nice people with families and feelings, but the interests they serve are not compatible with the philosophy required for freedom to triumph.

It is probably a good time to mention that following Worthington's visit to Microsoft/Novell he produces decent coverage that seems to be balanced, but he is quoting DiDio yet again (he did so before, along with Microsoft employees who maybe connected him with her [1, 2, 3]), perhaps not realising what she is to Microsoft. His article is titled “Microsoft exhausts coupons for SUSE Linux”

Microsoft has distributed nearly all of the US$240 million worth of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates that it purchased from Novell as part of a 2006 patent indemnification pact, the companies said.


Controversy surrounding the indemnification agreement inspired a provision in the GNU General Public License v3 that bars similar patent agreements going forward.

“Generally speaking, most software companies have attacked each other with patents; software patents are quite a drain on productivity of the software industry in this regard,” said Bradley Kuhn, a policy analyst and tech director at the Software Freedom Law Center, which provides legal services to Linux companies.

“But I am not readily aware of anything specific between Novell and Microsoft before their deal. If it was a large enough dispute that it made it to court, the court records would presumably show if there was.”

What happens in January 2012? The deal expires in 2 years (23 months to be precise) and then the patent intimidation can creep in, causing trouble for Novell (not just Mono and Moonlight).

Our reader Ryan says “no more Ballnux coupons” and “well, if Microsoft saw an advantage in keeping the vouchers around, they would have bought more before they ran out. They didn’t, that bodes poorly for Novell’s future. Watch Novell stock tank when word starts going around.”
* Maybe they thought it was bad for PR when they showed the CTO leaving (this is being syndicated there, perhaps automatically, then removed manually, but it’s just a guess). Some links from critics, as above, became “page not found” errors (WordPress’ “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria,” to be precise), which served Novell pretty well.

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