updated 11:00 am EST, Thu December 16, 2010
Novell patent acquirer CPTN has Apple, MS, Oracle
The acquirer of 882 Novell patents as part of Attachmate's buyout of Novell includes Apple, EMC, Microsoft and Oracle, Germany's antitrust regulator Bundeskartellamt revealed in a notice for the deal. While created by Microsoft, the organization includes some of its competitors and suggests the buy wasn't intended solely or primarily for Microsoft's attempt to discourage Linux use through patent lawsuits. None of the companies have mentioned their plans or, until now, acknowledged their involvement in public.
The presences of Apple, Microsoft and Oracle nonetheless suggests the move may be a concerted attempt to collect patents and sue either Google or its phone partners to subdue Android. Apple is currently suing HTC and Motorola in a generally known proxy war against Android, as most of its patent claims focus on Android. Microsoft has simultaneously argued that it's entitled to royalties on all Android phones and has also sued Motorola. Oracle is currently suing Google over Java patents used in Android.
Apple and Microsoft are also facing lawsuits in other areas, including from Motorola in both cases and Nokia for Apple. It's unclear whether any of the 882 patents can be used as leverage. [via Florian Mueller]