CPTN Holdings

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CPTN Holdings LLC is a consortium of technology companies led by Microsoft that acquired a portfolio of 882 patents as part of the sale of Novell to Attachmate.[1][2]

As of December 2010, CPTN's members are believed to be Microsoft, Apple Inc., Oracle and EMC Corporation.[3]

It was later reported that the Rücknahme, the filing with the German Federal Cartel Office by the principals of CPTN Holdings was withdrawn on December 30, 2010, after letters of protest were filed by Open Source advocates.[4] However, other sources indicate that the filing was only delayed to raise more funds.[5]

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that in order to proceed with the first phase of their acquisition of certain patents and patent applications from Novell Inc., CPTN Holdings LLC and its owners altered their original agreements to address the department's antitrust concerns. The department said that, as originally proposed, the deal would jeopardize the ability of open source software, such as Linux, to continue to innovate and compete in the development and distribution of server, desktop, and mobile operating systems, middleware, and virtualization products.

With regard to licensing the patents:

  • All of the Novell patents will be acquired subject to the GNU General Public License, Version 2, a widely adopted open-source license, and the Open Invention Network (OIN) License, a significant license for the Linux System;
  • CPTN does not have the right to limit which of the patents, if any, are available under the OIN license; and
  • Neither CPTN nor its owners will make any statement or take any action with the purpose of influencing or encouraging either Novell or Attachmate to modify which of the patents are available under the OIN license.


  1. ^ "FORM 8-K - Novell Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2010-11-27. Also on November 21, 2010, Novell entered into a Patent Purchase Agreement (the “Patent Purchase Agreement”) with CPTN Holdings LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation (“CPTN”). The Patent Purchase Agreement provides that, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Patent Purchase Agreement, Novell will sell to CPTN all of Novell’s right, title and interest in 882 patents (the “Assigned Patents”) for $450 million in cash (the “Patent Sale”).  
  2. ^ Erik Sherman (November 22, 2010). "Just What's Inside Microsoft's New Stash of Novell Patents?". BNET. 
  3. ^ Erik Sherman (December 16, 2010). "Microsoft Forms a Patent Bloc With Apple, EMC, and Oracle". BNET. 
  4. ^ Jennifer Baker (January 11, 2011) IDG News. "Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, EMC Consortium Plan Withdrawn" accessdate=2011-1-11
  5. ^ CPTN Holdings is still trying to buy Novell's patents

"CPTN Holdings LLC and Novell Inc. Change Deal in Order to Address Department of Justice's Open Source Concerns".