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Microsoft Novell Operating Systems Unix Technology

Attachmate To Retain Novell Unix Copyrights 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the mine-now-I-keep-it dept.
angry tapir writes "Novell's copyrights for the Unix operating system will remain under Attachmate's control as part of the companies' pending merger, a Novell spokesman has revealed. The confirmation, which came in a terse message posted to Novell's website, seems to rule out questions of whether Unix assets are part of some 882 patents being sold to a Microsoft-led consortium, CPTN Holdings, as part of the deal."
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Attachmate To Retain Novell Unix Copyrights

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  • We gotta buy them. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:04PM (#34338670) Homepage Journal
    As the internet developer/it communities. and even corporations. its better off outside microsoft's reach, in ANY case, even if a claim cannot be laid.

    why cant we set up a consortium to buy it and release it as open source ? and donate to that consortium ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kaz Kylheku (1484)

      Unix has already been in Microsoft's reach. Microsoft had a Unix product called Xenix.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenix [wikipedia.org]

      Xenix is what SCO bought in order to produce SCO UNIX.

    • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:25PM (#34338788) Homepage
      Though I am a long time Microsoft basher (with very good reason) I have to totally disagree with you. A small company with nothing to lose run by a moron (SCO anyone?) is much more likely to try the kind of Hail Mary [wikipedia.org] that any such attempt would constitute. Microsoft, while wrong in many ways, is not that phenomenally stupid. They actually have something to lose, and would be going up against Google, Motorola, HP, IBM, and thousands of other companies single handedly, and even they can't t weather the ill will such a stupid move would garner circa 2011. If it gets in the hands of another Darl McBride, it is still a non-issue, because they are guaranteed to lose, whether you think it is because we are right (which we are of course), or because big money talks. Any way you slice it, worrying about said trademark and who owns it is tantamount to complete foolishness.
      • Though I am a long time Microsoft basher (with very good reason) I have to totally disagree with you. A small company with nothing to lose run by a moron (SCO anyone?) is much more likely to try the kind of Hail Mary [wikipedia.org] that any such attempt would constitute. Microsoft, while wrong in many ways, is not that phenomenally stupid. They actually have something to lose, and would be going up against Google, Motorola, HP, IBM, and thousands of other companies single handedly, and even they can't t weather the ill will such a stupid move would garner circa 2011. If it gets in the hands of another Darl McBride, it is still a non-issue, because they are guaranteed to lose, whether you think it is because we are right (which we are of course), or because big money talks. Any way you slice it, worrying about said trademark and who owns it is tantamount to complete foolishness.

        On the other hand, it would make a perfect "nuke", if you will, to strike back at multiple competitors for Microsoft to use when the end is drawing near.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @09:19PM (#34339036)
      The issue of copyrights and unix has been taken care of already. Both SCO and Novel released the linux kernel and other parts of the operating system under the GPL. Any claims for copyright infringement are rendered moot. Once those codes were released under the GPL by the "owners" of the copyright then the game is over. Thank you Novel for buying and releasing SUSE under the GPL. (Never thought that I would be glad about anything done by SUSE but there you go....)
      • by unity100 (970058)
        and what about patents .
        • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:07PM (#34339486)

          Patents under Unix as rendered into the GPL by Novell, the ostensible owner, are real, but mooted by the GPL.

          But Novell has plenty of other IP, including its directory services, communications patents, software patents, and so on.

          I want to say, if Microsoft has bought some of those and intends to troll the patents (the non-Unix ones), then it's proving once and for all it's no longer inventive, just a patent troller. They've fallen behind in so many ways, and have become so incredibly in-grown.

          I don't think the Linux and FOSS communities has to worry much about Microsoft Unix-related litigation, but there's more to Novell than SUSE and Caldera contributions. Lots. Consider, however, that Oracle, Google, IBM, HP, and many others passed up these patents. And they sold for a comparative song. Might not be worth as much as everyone thinks. Perhaps only the lawyers make money on this one.....

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by marcosdumay (620877)

          The patents that apply to current versions of Linux (or any software distributed with SUSE) can't be used in a court case against this software. If it applies to a GPLed software it also can't be used against any derivative software.

          Now, Microsoft had lost a case against Novell based on a few patents that weren't disclosed*. I bet this move is mainly** protective, as MS would not like those patents to get into the hands of anybody else.

          * That was what caused that cross licensing when Microsoft started sprea

    • by stox (131684)

      The cat is long out of the bag. Between BSD and Solaris, all the tasty bits have been exposed and covered.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:25PM (#34338792) Homepage

    There are no Unix patents.

    • by zzatz (965857) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:39PM (#34338854)

      Sequent patented read-copy-update, now owned by IBM. There may be others. But none from Novell, as far as I know.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arivanov (12034)

        Wrong.

        At least a couple of the networking patents (the really scary ones) apply to any network device there including some of the fundamentals on the way iptables, marking and QoS are interfaced. You can basically wipe out the current prevalence of Linux in the home networking market in no time with these and a suitable budget to back the effort.

        There are other scary ones there as well from the days when Novell still did networking.

  • Is it Microsoft, through the 'backdoor?' I hope not.

  • Novell & Idam (Score:2, Insightful)

    by narkotix (576944)
    i'd say the identity management offerings from Novell are what Microsoft are after. Novell's idam system is superior to pretty much anything bar TIM/TAM or OIM/OAM.
  • The Missing Link (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rec9140 (732463)

    Here is the MISSING LINK:

    http://www.novell.com/company/ir/message.html [novell.com]

    And this is still NOT GOOD.

    Regardless of whether these are valid or not, and regardless of whether there even should be IP, trademark, or copyright... at this point in time this BS still exists and "The Unix Patents" that novell own[s|ed] need to be in the hands of FRIENDLY *NIX entities and most definitely NOT MS, EVER, PERIOD!

    Turn them over to the EFF, OSF, or Linus himself, but this needs to be put to bed to kill off any more SCO Zombi

  • I am wondering what happens to Mono?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The GP:v3 focused on patent protections for a reason. Microsoft has been saber rattling about patents and Linux for years now. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x36tn1_steve-ballmer-threatens-redhat-with_news). Novell actually *owned* significant patents in networking technologies. SCO had no case, and dragged it on successfully for most of a decade. Microsoft could, theoretically, abuse Novell patents even without them actually being valid or applying to threaten Linux in similar fashion.

    Whether they'll d

  • Why is it that the editors seem to assume that we all know who Attachmate are?

    I have a limited idea since taking a look at the wikipedia entry but come on Ed's a bit of backgound info in the summary wouldn't kill you.

    • Why is it that the editors seem to assume that we all know who Attachmate are?

      Because many people do, and many who don't know how to Google? You have enough time to bitch, you have enough time to educate yourself as to who Attachmate is (and was in the past before they became a patent troll).

      • It's amazing to me when anyone on the internet says "I don't know what that is," and it's doubly amazing when someone on Slashdot, where people are supposed self-educators and intarwebheads, say it. Wikipedia is the only place you looked? Really?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rubies (962985)

      The name is a blast from the past for anyone who worked in IT in the 1980s.

      They sold a line of IBM 3270 terminal emulation software and some IBM PC compatible communication cards so you could work at your new fangled PC while still looking at the corporate software on the IBM mainframe. I thought they died when 3270 comms protocols went TCP/IP but apparently a shell of the company has struggled on for years sitting on a bunch of acquired patents from subsumed competitors.

      Their SDLC cards were a total bitch

  • ... not that we were really worried or anything. The MS Police won't be kicking in my door to strip Slackware off my system any time soon. Whew!
  • To be more precise (Score:3, Informative)

    by eric76 (679787) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:19AM (#34340702)

    Novell's Chief Marketing officer stated:

    Here's a message from Novell about the merger, from John Dragoon, Chief Marketing Officer: On November 22, 2010, Novell issued a press release announcing a definitive merger agreement under which Attachmate Corporation (“Attachmate”) would acquire Novell for $6.10 per share in cash (“Merger Agreement”). Novell will continue to own Novell’s UNIX copyrights following completion of the merger as a subsidiary of Attachmate. Novell filed a Form 8-K/A with the SEC on November 22, 2010, with respect to the Merger Agreement.

    That is, Novell will be a subsidiary of Attachmate and Novell will continue to own the copyrights.

  • A terse message posted to Novell's website? Look, Novell... you sold patents to Microsoft period. Of course people are worried. Shame on you.

    Microsoft wouldn't buy them if the patents were completely worthless.

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:33PM (#34344996)

    Regardless of validity or value, patents in Microsoft's hands are far more dangerous than copyrights. By abusing legal process as has been its habit Microsoft can employ its huge cash reserves to cause a great deal of trouble for honest competitors, including volunteers.

    In my opinion, Microsoft gaining control of Novell's patent portfolio is a gross violation of antitrust law and this violation should be pursued vigorously and immediately, not in reaction to dirty tricks that are sure to follow (caveat: I am not a lawyer).

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