08.13.10

Novell/Mono Could be Sued by Oracle; Taleo Puts Sun’s Former CEO and Former Novell Employee in the Board

Posted in Mono, Novell, Oracle, SUN at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Court gavel

Summary: Next target for Oracle could be Novell; Sun’s outgoing CEO gets a part-time job alongside a former Noveller

MAKER of Mono Novell Inc. is now at risk of lawsuits from Oracle, not just Microsoft (which was also sued by Salesforce for patent violations in .NET). Bruce Byfield mentions Novell’s Go-OO in his latest article, which is about OpenOffice.org 3.3. Novell has been trying to fork OpenOffice.org, which upset some people at Sun. Now that Oracle owns Sun and is also getting litigious against similar works, what is the probability of Novell being sued by Oracle (which uses RHEL and Solaris, not SLES)? Novell has been poaching Solaris customers recently, which would anger Oracle.

According to this, Jonathan Schwartz (who very much dislikes extortion with software patents) enters the board of Taleo along with Jim Tolonen, who used to work for Novell:

Tolonen was CFO for Business Objects, a software maker, until it was acquired by SAP AG in January 2008. Taleo said he has also worked at Novell Inc., IGN Entertainment Inc., and CyberMedia.

The new Sales VP of InsideSales.com turns out to have some Novell history as well.

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5 Comments

  1. gnufreex said,

    August 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft sued Salesforce over .NET patents. but Salesforce in fact uses Java, not .NET. Press release also mentions “OS patents” and Salesforce uses RHEL. But most patents in that suit was over ridiculous GUI and menu display techniques.

    As this madness goes on, I am more and more in favor of ideas like open source patent trolling companies. Accumulate patents and go after proprietary companies, until they become advocates for abolishing patents. Only way to convince them that patents are evil is to use patent to do evil to them.

    There is no better defense than obvious offense. In fact, GPL was born as hack on copyright law, when Stallman realized that companies are going to copyright everything.

    I think DPL patent pool is nice idea of patent copyleft.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Press release also mentions “OS patents” and Salesforce uses RHEL.

    The way the PR was phrased (with context) makes it just a remote possibility that Red Hat was the target. I had a long discussion with Müller over this (he insisted that Linux was impacted).

    gnufreex Reply:

    I am not completely sure if it affects Linux, because Microsoft looks to put Linux in every deal, even if licensee never heard of it. But mention of “OS patens” imply bad things, since Salesforce don’t have it’s own OS and it only uses RHEL on servers, and maybe Windows on desktops.

    Then there’s amazon deal which is clearly against Red Hat…

    I think that lawsuit (against Microsoft) for slandering title or tortious interference would be good move to make ‘em talk or shut up forever. But Red Hat is reluctant to do that…

    EU lobbying wouldn’t help either, because Europe can’t police against patent bullying in the US.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    See how OS patents are mentioned. I can’t recall the exact phrasing in the press release, but it leaves room for doubt. It’s something like “based on the better patents portfolio on x, y, x, and OS…”

    gnufreex Reply:

    You’re right. Very vague. Typical FUD:

    “Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, Microsoft indicated that it is being compensated by Salesforce.com based on the strength of Microsoft’s leading patent portfolio in the areas of operating systems, cloud services and customer relationship management software. ”

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/aug10/08-04sfcpr.mspx

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