Apple, Others Pull Out of Novell Patent Purchase

Apple, along with Microsoft, Oracle and EMC, have pulled out of the consortium they launched to purchase 882 Novell patents. The decision followed concerns from open source organizations, although the companies aren’t saying what prompted the move.

Notice that the filing for CPTN Holdings was given to German authorities on December 30, 2010, according to PCWorld. Word of the pullout comes as good news for the organizations that were concerned about Novell’s open source patents falling in the hands of companies like Microsoft and Apple.

“The founders and leaders of CPTN have a long history of opposing and misrepresenting the value of open source software, which is at the heart of Web infrastructure and of many of the most widely used software products and services,” commented the Open Source Initiative in its letter. “The sole or leading competition for several products from the CPTN principals are open source.”

The open source groups argued that free software titles are the only true competitors to products from Microsoft.

CPTN Holdings was formed to purchase the patents from Novell with the intent of dividing up the portfolio among the four companies. Novell is being bought by Attachmate and included the pre-arranged CPTN Holdings purchase as part of the deal.

Withdrawing the CPTN filing doesn’t necessarily mean the deal is off. The company could be working on filing updates that make it easier to get approval from European regulators. If so, a new filing could be coming soon.