Report: Apple & Microsoft Buy Novell Patents

Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle are the owners of a holding company that recently purchased some 882 patents from what’s left of Novell. The purchase took place earlier in 2010 when CPTN Holdings LLC bought the patents for US$450 million as part of Novell’s purchase by Attachmate, but a German Web site revealed that the four companies listed above are the actual owners of CPTN Holdings, as reported by Foss Patents.

CPTN was known to be a “consortium organized by Microsoft,” but which companies had partnered with Big Redmond remained unknown until now. What remains unknown is which patents are included in the list of 882 bought by the consortium, and how they will be divided up or other used by the four companies involved.

Another unknown is why any of the four companies would have needed the others to make the deal happen. Apple has more money on hand than Carter’s has pills, and the other three companies could each have made the purchase out petty cash. Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle have also been known much more for their fierce competition over the years than the few things on which they have cooperated, making the partnership that much more intriguing.

Thanks to MacRumors for the heads up on this story.