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Open source group slams Novell over patent sale

The Open Source Initiative has sent an open letter to the German Federal Cartel Office, objecting to the sale of Novell's patents to a consortium headed...

The Open Source Initiative has sent an open letter to the German Federal Cartel Office, objecting to the sale of Novell's patents to a consortium headed by Microsoft.

In November, Novell, which distributes SuSE Linux, was acquired by Attachmate for $2.2 billion.

In the letter, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) said it was concerned the proposed recipient of Novell's patent portfolio, CPTN, represented a serious threat to the growing use of open source software throughout business, government, academia and non-profit organisations worldwide. The CPTN consortium paid $450m for Novell patents.

In his blog, Michael Tiemann, OSI president, said: "The fact that Microsoft was leading the takeover of Novell's patents was itself alarming to the open source community, but when it was revealed that Microsoft had recruited Oracle, Apple and EMC to be co-owners of the patents, the OSI Board felt compelled to request that competition authorities take a closer look at the proposed transaction."

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