Saturday, 12 March 2011 10:31

Novell sale delayed by patent concerns

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The completion of Novell's sale to Attachmate has been delayed until April 12, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.


The delay is because the Department of Justice wishes to review the sale that also includes the disposal of a large tranche of patents.

The sale to Attachmate was announced in November last year and was due to be finalised by the end of March. The new owners are taking the company private.

While the sale has been approved by shareholders it is conditional on Novell finalising the sale of 882 patents to CPTN Holdings, a consortium led by Microsoft and including Apple, EMC and Oracle, for $US450 million.

Novell's 8K filing with the SEC says: "On March 4, 2011, each of the Company and CPTN certified as to its substantial compliance with its second request.

"In addition, at the request of the DOJ, the Company and CPTN have agreed to provide the DOJ with additional time to review the patent sale and not to close the patent sale prior to April 12, 2011. The Company remains committed to working with the DOJ as it conducts its review of the patent sale.

"The patent sale remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions as set forth in the Patent Purchase Agreement, including, without limitation, the receipt of antitrust approval in Germany."

Objections to the sale were raised with the German authorities by the Open Source Initiative.

Novell reported a net loss in its first quarter after the announcement of the proposed sale.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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