or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple, Microsoft, Oracle partner to acquire Novell patents for $450M
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple, Microsoft, Oracle partner to acquire Novell patents for $450M

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Apple has apparently formed a joint venture with Microsoft, Oracle and EMC to purchase 882 patents from the recently acquired Novell.

As revealed by the blog FOSS Patents, on Dec. 9 the four companies, under the name CPTN Holdings LLC, acquired the patents for $442 million. The consortium of companies, said to have been organized by Microsoft, has defined the newly formed company as one that is in the market of "patents."

"Within the consortium, the four players will have to agree on a common denominator concerning the patents to be acquired," author Florian Mueller wrote. "They've apparently been able to agree that those patents are valuable assets to own."

The list of patents remains unknown. Earlier this year, Novell, which specializes in enterprise operating systems, was acquired by Attachmate.

The apparent acquisition of Novell patents is not to be confused with a patent sale from a very different, but similarly named company, Nortel. Earlier this week, it was rumored that Apple, Google and others are bidding for 4G wireless network patents owned by Nortel, a bankrupt Canadian telecom.

Ownership of patents has proven to be an extremely valuable asset in the mobile business, as many of the major players in the smartphone market are suing one another. In fact, on Wednesday, Finnish handset maker Nokia announced it had filed new lawsuits accusing Apple of patent violation in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands.
post #2 of 53
I guess Steve trust Larry but the rest ... mmmmmm. Fascinating idea though and MS behind it! I wonder if Nortel is going this way too or if Apple are alone against Google.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #3 of 53
Apple and Oracle I get. Steve and Larry are after all buddy buddy.. But MS, hell is slowly freezing over. I guess Apple and MS won't be suing each other over those patents..
post #4 of 53
The plot thickens..
post #5 of 53
So what do these guys have in common?

They are all not Google.

Google has pissed all these guys. According to their statements (need not be true, but certainly what they believe)

Apple - By creating Android while Eric Schmidt was still board member, and never revealing it would be an iPhone like OS, and not a Blackberry style one).
Oracle - By "stealing" Java
MS - Being close to uncatchable in Search
post #6 of 53
What a way to p*ss away millions of dollars...
post #7 of 53
I guess buying the patents is cheaper than paying lawyers to defend against bottom-feeder patent-trolls....
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

So what do these guys have in common?



They are all patent whores. They didn't invent any of it, and they don't use any of it. If they used it, they would already have licenses and would have no need to purchase the patents outright.
post #9 of 53
Weird.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #10 of 53
Access to all those UNIX Patents, for one, will benefit OS X.
post #11 of 53
Maybe the best weapon to use against patent trolls is to become one. Turnabout it fair play.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Maybe the best weapon to use against patent trolls is to become one. Turnabout it fair play.


But we hate patent trolls. You really think that Apple is now a patent troll?
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

I guess buying the patents is cheaper than paying lawyers to defend against bottom-feeder patent-trolls....

Exactly.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveMYiPhoneAndWantToGetaMAC View Post

They are all patent whores. They didn't invent any of it, and they don't use any of it. If they used it, they would already have licenses and would have no need to purchase the patents outright.

I dont remember reading if they used the patents or not. I would assume that they use them or find value in them. Why pay a liscense fee when you can just own them and not pay fee's. With the amount of products Apple makes with patents that cross each product, these fee's add up and fast.
post #15 of 53
Novell is/was a legitimate company that has been in business for a long time. Any patents they hold would be for valuable networking software.

As long as this new consortium doesn't incorporate in the Eastern District of Texas, I believe they are intending actually to make use of this intellectual property--the opposite of a patent troll.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I guess Steve trust Larry but the rest ... mmmmmm. Fascinating idea though and MS behind it! I wonder if Nortel is going this way too or if Apple are alone against Google.

Right now, it's a free for all about Nortel. I think it's mostly between Apple and Google at this point.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveMYiPhoneAndWantToGetaMAC View Post

They are all patent whores. They didn't invent any of it, and they don't use any of it. If they used it, they would already have licenses and would have no need to purchase the patents outright.

That's a simplistic viewpoint. Do you know if any of them are or aren't licensing any of them, or is that just a wild guess?
post #18 of 53
I've no real knowledge about the legalities involved, but it does seem like a sensible move between the four companies involved to cooperate, sharing the costs, avoiding getting into a bidding war, and avoiding more lawsuits between them later on.
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Apple and Oracle I get. Steve and Larry are after all buddy buddy.. But MS, hell is slowly freezing over. I guess Apple and MS won't be suing each other over those patents..

Apple and MS have had a good cooperative relationship for a long time now. It's mostly the fanboys that can't get along. To me, this is a great way to go. Spread out the the costs and share the patents. Regardless what is said about the companies, they are tech companies, not patent whores. Better this than some group that holds them waiting for a big payday via the courts. But there was no chance of that anyway. Patent squatters just file patents in hopes if getting lucky. They don't spend millions to buy up existing ones.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's a simplistic viewpoint. Do you know if any of them are or aren't licensing any of them, or is that just a wild guess?

He's the latest troll. Just put him on ignore and be done with it.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Apple and Oracle I get. Steve and Larry are after all buddy buddy.. But MS, hell is slowly freezing over. I guess Apple and MS won't be suing each other over those patents..

From what I understand back in the 90s when Microsoft "bailed Apple out" as a supposed attempt to help keep competition alive Apple & Microsoft made some sort of secret deal. The reality from what I understand is Apple had a pretty strong case against Microsoft for patent infringement and Microsoft decided that with the whole monopoly lawsuits going on they didn't want to risk a legal battle pitting "big evil Microsoft" against "lowly underdog Apple". They struck a deal where Microsoft quietly paid Apple's debt off & Apple had to remain tight lipped about it allowing Microsoft to paint it as a charity deal. You have to wonder if there were more negotiations than just Apple keeping silent that went on, maybe Apple gave some rights to sue for certain patents.

That's all of course silly conspiracy theory. Could be Apple is just trying to strengthen their relationship with Microsoft because they need MS Office to continually get better if they ever hope to break the corporate barrier against Macs.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

You have to wonder if there were more negotiations than just Apple keeping silent that went on, maybe Apple gave some rights to sue for certain patents.

This has always been my hunch and we are probably seeing the continuation of that agreement today. Patents relating to UI in particular.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveMYiPhoneAndWantToGetaMAC View Post

They are all patent whores. They didn't invent any of it, and they don't use any of it. If they used it, they would already have licenses and would have no need to purchase the patents outright.

Would you rather pay licensing fees to a competitor or own the patents and avoid making the competitor richer? Better yet make sure there is no competitor by owning the patents outright?

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

From what I understand back in the 90s when Microsoft "bailed Apple out" as a supposed attempt to help keep competition alive Apple & Microsoft made some sort of secret deal. The reality from what I understand is Apple had a pretty strong case against Microsoft for patent infringement and Microsoft decided that with the whole monopoly lawsuits going on they didn't want to risk a legal battle pitting "big evil Microsoft" against "lowly underdog Apple". They struck a deal where Microsoft quietly paid Apple's debt off & Apple had to remain tight lipped about it allowing Microsoft to paint it as a charity deal. You have to wonder if there were more negotiations than just Apple keeping silent that went on, maybe Apple gave some rights to sue for certain patents.

That's all of course silly conspiracy theory. Could be Apple is just trying to strengthen their relationship with Microsoft because they need MS Office to continually get better if they ever hope to break the corporate barrier against Macs.

Conspiracy theories aren't really required. Apple and Microsoft did agree to a broad patent-sharing arrangement as a part of the 1997 deal. We don't know specifically what was shared, but we do know that it happened, and the companies avoided a courtroom battle as a result. Nothing to do with the antitrust case, either. FWIW, Microsoft didn't pay off Apple's debt. Apple actually had about $1b cash on hand at the time. The idea that it was ever a "charity deal" only got started after the fact. At the time the deal went down, anybody who wanted to know the driving force behind it, did know.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #25 of 53
Not that weird, after all your biggest enemy is also your best friend. While they all rival each other they may also prefer to join forces to share something rather than let a new rival form.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Right now, it's a free for all about Nortel. I think it's mostly between Apple and Google at this point.

Apple and Google might do well to go in on it together. Neither of them has the history to defend against licensing issues like Nokia's suit. It all comes down to Mutually Assured Destruction.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveMYiPhoneAndWantToGetaMAC View Post

They are all patent whores. They didn't invent any of it, and they don't use any of it. If they used it, they would already have licenses and would have no need to purchase the patents outright.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveMYiPhoneAndWantToGetaMAC View Post

But we hate patent trolls. You really think that Apple is now a patent troll?

Can't satisfy you no matter what they do, can they? You call them patent whores for buying patents because YOU CLAIM (and you know this how?) they don't use any of them and then get defensive when someone calls them patent trolls.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

Reply
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

What a way to p*ss away millions of dollars...

They could also be buying these patents to prevent any patent trolls from getting them. Patents trolls acquire lame, obscure patents, then sue big companies claiming they invented such and such first. They either accept an out of court settlement or continue with lawsuit hoping to get lucky. RIMM (blackberry) loss a suit, and had to pay someone $615,000,00.00 (yes 615 MILLION dollars) because (wait for it) blackberries can receive emails !!!! That person is now suing Apple, Nokia etc for the same reason.
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoot27 View Post

I dont remember reading if they used the patents or not. I would assume that they use them or find value in them. Why pay a liscense fee when you can just own them and not pay fee's. With the amount of products Apple makes with patents that cross each product, these fee's add up and fast.

If they already have licenses, there is no logic to spending more. If they are using the technology, they already have licenses. Accordingly, they do no use the technology.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's a simplistic viewpoint. Do you know if any of them are or aren't licensing any of them, or is that just a wild guess?

My logic is that if they already have licensed the proper rights, they need not spend hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire the rights. Unless they just plan to sue other companies to get the money back with profit.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

From what I understand back in the 90s when Microsoft "bailed Apple out" as a supposed attempt to help keep competition alive Apple & Microsoft made some sort of secret deal. The reality from what I understand is Apple had a pretty strong case against Microsoft for patent infringement and Microsoft decided that with the whole monopoly lawsuits going on they didn't want to risk a legal battle pitting "big evil Microsoft" against "lowly underdog Apple". They struck a deal where Microsoft quietly paid Apple's debt off & Apple had to remain tight lipped about it allowing Microsoft to paint it as a charity deal. You have to wonder if there were more negotiations than just Apple keeping silent that went on, maybe Apple gave some rights to sue for certain patents.

That's all of course silly conspiracy theory. Could be Apple is just trying to strengthen their relationship with Microsoft because they need MS Office to continually get better if they ever hope to break the corporate barrier against Macs.

That's not exactly the story. MS was caught with Apple's patented QuickTime software in their Window's Media player. The work was done for MS by a second party company. Apple got wind of it and spoke to MS. In exchange for allowing MS to continue using it, a deal was struck. MS would agree to upgrade Office for the Mac for at least 5 years, and invest $150,000,000 in Apple, receiving non voting stock in exchange, and for Gates to do a live video appearance at the next Macworld, stating his, and Microsoft's confidence in Apple. The last portion was that Apple and MS would have a patent licensing deal where both could use a number of each other's patents in a number of areas, and not sue each other over patent issues.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Access to all those UNIX Patents, for one, will benefit OS X.

Possibly, but Attachmate at least owns the Unix copyright.

The patents in question are worth something because years ago Microsoft ended up paying millions for "licensing".

Apparently paying more???
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Apple and Google might do well to go in on it together. Neither of them has the history to defend against licensing issues like Nokia's suit. It all comes down to Mutually Assured Destruction.

Right now, there seems to be so much bad blood between them, that I wonder if it's possible.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveMYiPhoneAndWantToGetaMAC View Post

My logic is that if they already have licensed the proper rights, they need not spend hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire the rights. Unless they just plan to sue other companies to get the money back with profit.

Agh! I hate to seem to be responding to someone who's been banned, but I'd like to clear this up for everyone else.

If a hostile party buys a patent that's being licensed, they can refuse to continue that license unless it's been licensed in perpetuity, which is very unusual, though not unheard of. Owning that patent, even in a consortium such as this, eliminates that threat.
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Apple and Oracle I get. Steve and Larry are after all buddy buddy.. But MS, hell is slowly freezing over. I guess Apple and MS won't be suing each other over those patents..

Microsoft has a very long history with working with Novell, especially on networking technologies and other things. No surprise that they are involved. All in all, a good example of how large tech companies can work together on a common goal...
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

He's the latest troll. Just put him on ignore and be done with it.

melgross is a Global Moderator here. He will kick your ass before he bans u lol!
post #37 of 53
Misleading Summary again

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

Reply

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

Reply
post #38 of 53
Genius.
post #39 of 53
I think this about preventing these patents from being open sourced. $450 mil is a drop in the bucket for these companies - any one of them could have paid this sum many times over.

The smart, underdog move would have been for Redhat, Google or Ubuntu to buy the patents and immediately GPL them. Any of them could afford it and it would have completely changed the software landscape.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

Possibly, but Attachmate at least owns the Unix copyright.

The patents in question are worth something because years ago Microsoft ended up paying millions for "licensing".

Apparently paying more???

Attachemate is keeping the copyright to protect it's SUSE Linux rights.

http://www.novell.com/company/policies/patent/
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple, Microsoft, Oracle partner to acquire Novell patents for $450M