Judge says jury could not decide on Novell suit
(Update: clarification) Judge J. Frederick Motz on Friday dismissed a longstanding Novell lawsuit against Microsoft. The antitrust complaint, filed in 2004, was tossed after a jury couldn't reach a uniform verdict on whether or not Microsoft had abused its market lead by changing code that broke WordPerfect's Windows 95 support just before the 16-year-old OS arrived. Jurors said they were "hopelessly deadlocked" and didn't see any extensions of deliberations solving the problem.
Kodak considers selling patents to stay alive
Insiders disclosed late Wednesday that Kodak had started the process of courting companies to sell its camera-related patents. Bankers at Lazard have been shopping the 1,100-strong patent collection around to see if companies are interested. Buyers weren't mentioned by name, but one identified by the WSJ is a "large, strategic buyer in the wireless industry" that would snap up the patents for "defensive protection," according to a source.
Google asks USPTO to invalidate Lodsys patents
Google has at last taken steps to try and protect Android developers from the wide-ranging Lodsys lawsuit, the company's general counsel Kent Walker stated Saturday. The company has asked the USPTO to reexamine the validity of two patents for in-app purchases that "should never have been issued," according to Walker. The approach described to Wired would either narrow the scope of the complaints or invalidate the patents entirely, likely forcing Lodsys to either limit the reach of lawsuits or toss them out entirely.
MS claims Google didn't care about shielding tech
In a response to Google's accusations, Microsoft's corporate communications lead Frank Shaw argured late Thursday that Google was being selfish in its refusal to join a coalition bidding on Novell's patents. He contended that Google just wanted patents it could wield against others. The Android developer allegedly didn't care about the wider technology industry and only about protecting itself.
Google says Microsoft offer on Nortel bid a trap
Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond updated his criticism of the Nortel and Novell patent bid to rebuff Microsoft's claims that it had thrown out a chance at patents by turning down an invitation to the Novell bid. He accused Microsoft of diversionary tactics and said that the offer to join on Novell was an effective trap. If Google had joined the group, it couldn't use those patents to defend itself or others from anti-Android lawsuits, the very goal Microsoft wanted to achieve by bidding in the first place.
Asymco shows Microsoft leaning on Android lawsuits
Microsoft is still profiting more from Android royalties than its own Windows Phone platform. Going on estimates of 1.4 million Windows phones shipping in the spring, Asymco's Horace Dediu said Microsoft would have made just $21 million from all its partners assuming WP7 costs $15 per phone. Even at HTC's widely leaked $5, 'discounted' royalty rate, its 12 million phones, almost all of them Android, would have given Microsoft $60 million.
Claims 'hostile' campaign against Android
Google senior VP and chief legal officer David Drummond has published an open letter criticizing the rush on patents in the mobile industry. "Android is on fire," he writes. "More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers. Android and other platforms are competing hard against each other, and thatís yielding cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers. But Androidís success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents."
Allows continued access to SUSE's Linux software
Microsoft has extended its agreement with SUSE to work on continued interoperability between Windows and Linux. The initial arrangement began almost five years ago, and the new deal will continue until the start of 2016. Microsoft will invest $100 million in new SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates for customers receiving Linux support from SUSE.
$2.2 billion Novell buy-out by Attachmate final
The acquisition of Novell by Attachmate is now complete, as the company's stock will no longer be publicly traded, Datamation reported on Wednesday. Novell is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Attachmate and part of the deal involves selling 882 patents to CTPN Holdings for $450 million, which was approved by the Department of Justice.
DOJ ensures that Linux license remains unchanged
The Department of Justice has stepped in to regulate patent sales arising from the buy out of Novell. Novell agreed to be bought out by Attachmate, a group of private-equity firms for $2.2 billion in November. However, CPTN Holdings, a separate holding company owned by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC, had sought to buy some of Novellís patents in a move that would have threatened the ability of the open source Linux operating system to continue to develop server, desktop and mobile operating systems. The revised arrangements mean that the critical patents CPTN had sought to purchase will now remain under the GNU General Public License.
UnXis completes taking over SCO's Unix technology
UnXis on Monday afternoon said it had finished buying out all of the SCO Group's staff and patents following its failed return to relevance. The buyout gives it control over SCO Unix as well as the roughly 32,000 contracts SCO still held. Plans weren't exact but would include a "new generation of hardware, software and cloud computing."
Novell intros Mono for Android
Novell partly broke with its loyalty to Microsoft on Wednesday by launching Mono for Android. The plugin lets those steeped in Microsoft's Visual Studio write native Android apps, starting with C# or .NET code and moving it to Android's usual Java code. The resulting apps will work in a simulator and can be posted to Android Market.
Google makes stalking horse bid on Nortel patents
Google on Monday said it had made a strategic bid on Nortel's patent sale to protect Android. A "stalking horse" bid chosen by Nortel has put a minimum price of $900 million and is meant to discourage patent trolls, as well as anti-Android rivals like Microsoft and Oracle, from making relatively casual bids that let them attack the mobile OS further. Patent law was broken, and either acquiring the patents or forcing the price up was the best way of discouraging lawsuits meant solely to keep a competitor down.
Move seen as win for open source
A consortium of several companies, including Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle, has backed away from its plan to buy a large number of Novell patents. The companies had submitted a plan notifying German regulators of the decision to establish CPTN Holdings and purchase 882 of the patents, however the group withdrew its filing on December 30.
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.
Attachmate buys Novell with Microsoft help
Attachmate today bought Novell in a deal that has triggered worries of renewed lawsuits and legal pressure from Microsoft. The share-based purchase, equivalent to about $2.2 billion, had only Attachmate acquiring the SuSE Linux owner directly, but Microsoft in an SEC 8K filing saw 882 patents transfer to CPTN Holdings, a patent holding alliance Microsoft runs. The Windows developer was "pleased" with the deal, but Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez wouldn't say which patents had been acquired or explain motives.
Microsoft NYC deal must separate software
Microsoft on Wednesday reached a deal with New York City to supply software directly to local government but which avoids the controversial practices of earlier years. The deal will give copies of Office and other software to as many as 100,000 people in city agencies but will prevent Microsoft from demanding that software come in bundles. Workers will be put into three different tiers depending on the apps they need and will pay less for the reduced bundles.
SCO shut out of further cases
SCO was dealt a late and possibly final blow on Thursday as Judge Ted Stewart has handed Novell a declaratory judgment against SCO in court. The decision supports Novell's view that it owns key Unix copyrights and that SCO didn't need or own the copyrights for its controversial SCOsource program, which would have forced some of those using Linux to pay royalties. It further lets Novell dismiss SCO's related lawsuits against IBM and Sequent.
MS complicates Apple HTC lawsuit with patents
Microsoft today tried to cast doubt on Android today by claiming that the OS infringes on some of its patents. It argued that Google's platform uses Microsoft technology for both the user interface and the core architecture. Multiple phone manufacturers, starting with HTC, have allegedly been violating those patents simply by using Android on their phones.
Jury unanimously decides in favor of Novell
The SCO Group faces yet another loss in its legal battle involving a number of Unix patents, according to a blog post on Novell's website. A District Corut of Utah jury on Tuesday issued a verdict confirming Novell's ownership of the Unix copyrights. SCO had attempted to convince the court that IBM and Novell were illegally profiting from SCO-owned Unix code built into their respective versions of Linux.
Novell demos iPhone app with Xbox 360 game
Software developer Novell on Monday demonstrated new technology that should bring some Xbox 360 games to iPhone and Android users. MonoTouch, which recognizes the XNA 4.0 kit needed for the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7, will have the ability to convert the Microsoft libraries to both the Apple and Google platforms. Microsoft itself is not making such efforts, instead only bringing its games to Windows Phone 7 handsets.
May expand accessibility for programmers
Through its open-source Mono Project, Novell has released MonoTouch 1.0, a software development kit for the iPhone and iPod touch. The SDK allows programming apps within Microsoft's .NET framework, which incorporates languages such as C#. Most iPhone development is handled using C and Objective-C, which Novell notes will necessarily exclude many people working with .NET.
Fusion-io ioSAN in Works
High-speed solid-state drive maker Fusion-io today marked the occasion of getting $47.5 million in extra funding by providing early details about a new storage device. The ioSAN (Storage Area Network) will borrow the same concept of a PCI Express drive with multiple SSDs in a RAID stripe but put it on a local network, theoretically giving the benefits of the extra-quick read and write times as quickly as the network allows. It's unknown if it would use Ethernet or else a faster but more exotic networking method like Fiber Channel.
Microsoft appeal denied
The US Supreme Court has denied a Microsoft appeal aimed at defeating an antitrust lawsuit, writes the Associated Press. The suit was originally launched by Novell in 2004, and accuses Microsoft of having "deliberately targeted and destroyed" WordPerfect and Quattro Pro with the purpose of preserving the monopoly of the Windows operating system. Both applications continue to be sold under the aegis of Corel, but no longer hold the marketshare they once did.
MS open document plans
Microsoft has launched what it calls the Document Interoperability Initiative, a program to test and improve how well certain document formats work across multiple platforms and operating systems. The company will host a series of lab events around the world for this purpose, and today met with other outfits such as Novell, Nuance and Quickoffice at a first event, which was set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The focus of the meeting was on the open ODF format, most famously used in OpenOffice, and Microsoft's less popular Open XML standard, supported almost exclusively by the company's Office suites.
SCO receives $100 million
Having almost disappeared completely late last year, SCO says it has been resuscitated by a new financing plan. Under the terms of the deal, Stephen Norris Capital Partners and "its partners from the Middle East" will supply up to $100 million, enabling SCO to reorganize and launch a new series of products. SNCP will gain a controlling interest in the company, and take it private, allowing it to slip out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.