EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.17.10

New Details Surface About Novell/Microsoft/AttachMSFT [sic] Deal

Posted in Apple, Deals, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Patents at 2:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

V for vendetta

Summary: The real face of CPTN, the entity which got Novell’s software patents; more revelations about how Novell’s deal came about

WE HAVE written over 20 posts about the subject since Novell was sold (despite impending litigation) and it was never known to the full extent just what Novell did and where assets were being passed. First there was turmoil over the assumption that Microsoft may have acquired UNIX from Novell. Shortly after Novell was publicly flogged for it the CMO of the company came out with an important statement denying this claim (AttachMSFT [sic] might still sell UNIX though). It was still assumed at the time that CPTN was merely a Microsoft shell [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] as no company other than Microsoft was named as a member. Well, none until now anyway. A group of Microsoft proponents [1, 2] says that Apple, Oracle and EMC are also part of CPTN (not principal ones though) and Groklaw theorises that it’s ill-intended and dangerous to Linux. From its new post on the subject:

So what’s the common interest? “Let’s all kill Android”? There’s a limit on that, in that Google is also an Open Invention Network member, so it has a license to these Novell patents already. Of course there could be more than one theme, virtualization, office suites.

Don’t forget that if you sign up with Open Invention Network before this deal closes, you will have a license in perpetuity to all those patents, and more, and these Machiavellian dudes won’t be able to mess with you. Here’s the article that provides information on where to sign up and who qualifies and what is required.

By the way, Oracle is a member of OIN, so it knows how it works. If it wanted to prevent patent litigation, all it had to do was buy all the patents. So I will assume they plan to use these patents, claiming they belong to the consortium and are therefore not donated to the OIN pool. Alternatively, looking at matters more positively, perhaps it wished to exercise some control over what Microsoft does with the patents.

Groklaw also thinks it’s an anti-Android plot despite the fact that VMware recently released software for Android and all we know about Oracle-Apple is not a sufficiently strong link [1, 2, 3, 4]. Moreover, Oracle has too much to lose if it harms Linux (Solaris notwithstanding). Groklaw is very familiar with the SCOracle [sic] case, which it has been tracking quite closely so far, so Groklaw’s opinion is nothing to sneeze at. From the latest status report at Groklaw:

The Oracle v. Google Java litigation now begins in earnest, with each side offering a proposed protective order, along with a handy table of the disputed provisions. Say, I think Groklaw has a claim for prior art on that kind of table.

Could some rival of Android have motivated Oracle to sue? It’s not possible to tell with any conviction at this moment. The same goes for the Traul Allen case from Interval — a case that was dismissed [1, 2] but Groklaw declared the end of it before it was over for good. By the way, the MSBBC’s coverage of this dismissal was atrocious, as expected. It even glamourised Traul Allen for this pathological, irrational, antisocial behaviour.

In addition to the news about CPTN, there is also news from the VAR Guy, who sheds lights on what exactly was going on behind the scenes when Novell looked for buyers:

Overall, Novell representatives contacted 52 potential buyers. Roughly nine official bidders emerged. So how did Attachmate wind up buying the bulk of Novell’s assets? And what happened to rumored SUSE Linux bids from VMware? In a preliminary proxy statement dated December 14, Novell offers an extensive time line describing how the company’s board of directors, executive team, and external financial advisors pursued potential buyers for the company. The filing is more than 100 pages. Here are some of the highlights, paraphrased by The VAR Guy. Please note:

* The vast majority of the info below is based on information within Novell’s SEC filing.
* Novell protects the names of several bidders, referring to them as Party A through Party E. In some cases, The VAR Guy makes some educated guesses about the actual identity of each company. But The VAR Guy’s educated guesses could be wrong.

Regarding anti-Android lawsuits, Mac Asay [sic] wrote this new article where he claims the lawsuit are evidence of Linux and open source success (it is embedded in almost everything).

Google came up with two on its own – Android and Chrome OS – to cover its bases on encouraging geeks to contribute to Google’s total world domination. And while Chrome OS never quite got out the gate in 2010, despite assurances that it would ship in late fall, Android more than made up for Chrome OS’ delays, with Google’s Andy Rubin tweeting: “There are over 300,000 Android phones activated each day.”

That’s a heck of a lot of phones running open source. Even more than Apple ships.

Apple, of course, didn’t let this open-source momentum go unnoticed, and launched a lawsuit against Google’s Android through its licensee, HTC. Not to be outdone, Microsoft and Oracle also sent lawyers to the Googleplex. About the only company that didn’t is Research in Motion. Nice Canadians.

Not only Linux is a target of such mobile phone lawsuits. There are more new lawsuits right now and they come from Symbian giant Nokia to apply pressure on Apple:

Nokia has just released a press release announcing that it has filed claims in the UK, Germany and Holland, alleging that Apple has infringed on Nokia products sold in those respective countries in regards to technologies used it the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

In response, writes Rupert Goodwins (UK-based journalist): “I find this profoundly depressing. Does history mean nothing in the face of short-term reactive capitalism?

The patent lawyers are watching this carefully (still afraid of losing software patents) and TechDirt jokes that creating flight plans on the Internet is now patented. Hilarious! Sane judges can view this as further evidence of BM/SW patents needing abolition.

Thanks to Kiran Lightpaw for alerting us to yet another example of patents being used to stifle innovation, rather than enable it. It involves a company called FlightPrep, that secured a patent (7,640,098) a year ago, covering generating a flight plan online and filing it online. Basically, it’s one of your typical “just add online and patent it!” patents that never should have been granted. In fact, the patent, which was first applied for in 2001 was rejected repeatedly, and many adjustments had to be made before the patent examiner finally gave them the patent.

Once they got the patent, they apparently started hitting up all sorts of online flightplan services for licenses — even ones that appear to have been online predating some of the claims in their patent. Nelson Minar, who knows more than a little bit about software development, does a nice job highlighting that there appears to be a fair bit of prior art to the claims that were actually approved.

Free software would have won far more easily if there were no software patents, which cannot be justified on economic grounds anyway. Everyone needs to demand elimination of software patents to hasten development and research efforts. Patents help society as much as Wall Street does.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  2. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  3. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  4. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  5. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  6. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  7. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  8. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  9. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  10. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  11. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  12. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  13. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  14. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  15. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  16. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  17. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  18. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  19. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  20. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  21. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  22. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  23. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  24. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  25. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  26. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  27. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  28. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  30. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts