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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,456member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    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..
  • Reply 3 of 52
    ibillibill Posts: 392member
    The plot thickens..
  • Reply 4 of 52
    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
  • Reply 5 of 52
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    What a way to p*ss away millions of dollars...
  • Reply 6 of 52
    I guess buying the patents is cheaper than paying lawyers to defend against bottom-feeder patent-trolls....
  • Reply 7 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Weird.
  • Reply 9 of 52
    Access to all those UNIX Patents, for one, will benefit OS X.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    Maybe the best weapon to use against patent trolls is to become one. Turnabout it fair play.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 52
    kevtkevt Posts: 195member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    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.
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