Bonum Certa Men Certa

Acacia's Deal with Novell and the Pointlessness of Patent Deals

The first time we wrote about Acacia was over a month ago (or as far back as July). We spotted the deal which was quietly signed between Novell and Acacia, just shortly before Acacia attacked Novell. ZDNet's Paula Rooney finally exposes some more details about this deal.

That’s right. In late August, the Newport Beach, Calif. –based Acacia Technology Licensing’ subsidiary Disc Link Corp. entered into a licensing agreement with Novell covering patents related to portable storage devices with links to the Internet.

[...]

It seems apparent, however, that Acacia’s legal minds, including two former high-level Microsoft IP experts – will oversee the details.


"Why would any Linux vendor sign a patent deal with Microsoft now?"Remember that Acacia is quite likely a part-time Microsoft proxy. It attacks the two largest Linux server vendors (software side). This might even be perceived as an attempt to pressure Red Hat into signing patent deals. Microsoft has been trying this for over a year, but Red Hat is not tactless enough to accept the offer.

Why would any Linux vendor sign a patent deal with Microsoft now? To some people it's clear that a Microsoft proxy is now attacking Red Hat (no, it's not SCO, but Acacia). Why would Red Hat want 'protection' when it can be attacked peripherally (i.e. around the deal with Microsoft, from the outside)? It can be seen as a loophole that renders Microsoft patent deals moot, just as the European Commission's ruling is likely to render Microsoft interoperability deals moot. Moreover, Novell's deal with Acacia proved to be useless. You lose either way.

Novell is losing

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