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Joint Venture Involving Apple and Microsoft Acquires Novell Patents For $450 Million

Foss Patents reports that a joint venture company involving Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and EMC has acquired 882 patents from Novell for a sum of $450 million. Novell is undergoing a transition as it has been acquired by software company Attachmate, and the patent sale is part of the acquisition deal.

Breaking news: Twitter user @VM_gville just pointed me to the website of the German federal antitrust authority ("Bundeskartellamt"), which discloses a merger (or more precisely, joint venture) notification filed a week ago (on 09 December 2010), according to which the four companies behind CPTN Holdings LLC -- the acquirer of 882 Novell patents -- are Microsoft, Apple, EMC, and Oracle. The product market in which the newly formed company plans to operate is defined as "patents".

Three weeks ago I already commented on the recent announcement of Attachmate acquiring Novell and the sale of 882 Novell patents, in exchange for $450 million, to CPTN Holdings LLC. At the time, the full list of CPTN Holdings LLC partners was not known. The entity was described as a "consortium organized by Microsoft."

Apple, which boasts an extensive patent portfolio of its own, has been looking to bolster its arsenal even further as several large blocks of intellectual property have come available in an increasingly litigious technology industry that has seen Apple rank as the most-sued tech company over the last several years. Apple is said to be one of a number of big players bidding to acquire Nortel patents estimated to be worth over $1 billion in total.