US DoJ requests more information from Novell and CPTN
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has requested more information about the proposed sale of patents by Novell to the Microsoft-led consortium, CPTN. The disclosure, made in an SEC filing by Novell, reveals that this is the second request for information from the DoJ.
Whether this second request was prompted by the OSI and FSF request is not clear, but Novell says it is in the process of "gathering information to respond to" the second request. The OSI and FSF are concerned that CPTN may use the acquired patents to compete unfairly with free and open source software. The second query from the DoJ relates to "certain identified patents and patent applications", but the filing does not elaborate on which of the 882 patents being sold to CPTN the DoJ was referring to.
The sale of patents is part of the complex deal which sees Novell acquired by Attachmate for $2.2 billion dollars while Novell receives $450 million for selling its patent portfolio to the Microsoft-led consortium CPTN Holdings LLC. According to filings with German regulators, Apple, EMC and Oracle are members of the CPTN consortium, together with Microsoft.