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  • News & Commentary - Message forums

    ZDNet: Microsoft gets Novell's patents rights but must share them with Open-Source Software
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011


    An article on Microsoft's licensing of the Novell patents that pertain to Linux:

    "No matter what Microsoft may have in mind, the Novell patents will be under both GPLv2 and OIN [Open Invention Network] protection. Indeed, Microsoft won't even own Novell's patents, but instead will only license them. Even before these changes in the deal were announced, I was told by an OIN representative that, 'Regarding Novell: If a company is a member/licensee of OIN prior to the closing on the Attachmate [purchase of Novell] deal, then, they will be covered in perpetuity on all relevant Novell patents. All companies signed on as an OIN licensee prior to the closing, will receive the benefit of the license to those patents.'"

    Novell has some intellectual property claims to the original UNIX source code, over which they were engaged in a court battle with the Santa Cruz Organization (SCO). Novell also acquired the SuSE Linux project and employed key GNOME and Mono developers. And, in more recent years, Microsoft and Novell have offered licenses for open-source software sold by the latter.


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