Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Nov 2010 22:50 UTC
General Unix Good news: the UNIX copyrights owned by Novell will not fall in the hands of Microsoft as part of the IP purchase by Redmond. "Novell will continue to own Novell's UNIX copyrights following completion of the merger as a subsidiary of Attachmate," states John Dragoon, Chief Marketing Officer at Novell. Yeppers.
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Comment by Soulbender
by Soulbender on Thu 25th Nov 2010 00:25 UTC
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That was pretty obvious really. Why would Attachmate buy SUSE if theyd risk being hit by MS shortly after?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by lemur2 on Thu 25th Nov 2010 01:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
lemur2 Member since:

That was pretty obvious really. Why would Attachmate buy SUSE if theyd risk being hit by MS shortly after?

Well, as seven years of the SCO saga thoroughly illustrates, the Unix copyrights have absolutely nothing to do with Linux.

There is no Unix code in Linux. Linux is simply a newly-written-from-scratch implementation of POSIX standards. POSIX is a set of specifications from which one is meant to be able to write Unix-compatible operating systems.

Also, it has been clear for some time now that what Microsoft purchased was 882 Novell patents. This also has absolutely nothing to do with Unix copyrights.

So, in a double sense, what risk was there (from the Unix copyrights) to Attachmate buying SuSe? None that I can see.

Edited 2010-11-25 01:08 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Soulbender
by lemur2 on Thu 25th Nov 2010 04:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Soulbender"
lemur2 Member since:

Also, it has been clear for some time now that what Microsoft purchased was 882 Novell patents.

I notice that Novell's policy statement is still available on the Patent Commons website.
As appropriate, Novell is prepared to use our patents, which are highly relevant in today's marketplace, to defend against those who might assert patents against open source products marketed, sold or supported by Novell. Some software vendors will attempt to counter the competitive threat of Linux by making arguments about the risk of violating patents. Vendors that assert patents against customers and competitors such as Novell do so at their own peril and with the certainty of provoking a response. We urge customers to remind vendors that all are best served by using innovation and competition to drive purchasing decisions, rather than the threat of litigation.

What is interesting is that when one searches on the Patent Commons website for Novell patents pledged, where there used to be a lengthy list, one now finds no results:
No Records found meeting your search criteria. Try searching again.


This can't be good.

Edited 2010-11-25 04:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Andy Updegrove of explains how Novell still exists:

This is what is referred to as a “reverse triangular merger.” In this type of transaction, the acquired company continues its corporate existence, since in a merger the parties are free to designate which company will be the “surviving corporation.” Attachmate will therefore form an empty shell company before the closing, all of whose shares will be owned by Attachmate. On the closing date, that company will merge into Novell, rather than the other way around. This transactional structure is usually used to achieve two primary goals:

1. The assets of the acquirer are insulated from any unknown liabilities that the acquired company may have, because the acquired company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, rather than be merged into the acquiring company itself.

2. It will lessen a major headache under other structures, which is getting the permission of many hundreds of third parties to assign their contracts from Novell to the acquirer. While every company seeks to limit the number of contracts that it signs that require such permissions, granting this term is sometimes unavoidable (and especially if you want the same right in return). Since Novell will be the surviving legal entity, many of these contracts will not, under their terms, technically be “assigned,” even though the control of Novell will have changed (some contracts, however, will have been drafted more tightly, and will still require consent).

As a result of this structure, all of Novell’s existing contracts, licenses, debts and other legal rights and obligations will continue as they were before the transaction occurred.

Reply Score: 3

plague Member since:

So.. Novell is dead. Long live Novell!? ;)

Reply Score: 1

So what did Microsoft get?
by tuaris on Thu 25th Nov 2010 12:19 UTC
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I am interested to know what it was that Microsoft got from Novell? What could Novell have that Microsoft really wanted?

Reply Score: 1

RE: So what did Microsoft get?
by Jokel on Thu 25th Nov 2010 13:38 UTC in reply to "So what did Microsoft get?"
Jokel Member since:


Well - Novell has (or had) NDS (Network Directory Services), and a lot of spin-off from it. Microsoft has tried to copy NDS with Active Directory's, but it was a bad imitation - probably because they where hold back by patents surrounding NDS.

Now it is possible they got all patents to use the full NDS version and use it in the next windows server version.

No - I don't know if this is true, but I think is is at least a part of the answer...

Reply Score: 3

I am happy
by Damind on Thu 25th Nov 2010 18:16 UTC
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This is good news. I starting to worry about this.

Reply Score: 1