Novell Responds to Microsoft Patent Claims

Dennis Faas's picture

Love 'em or hate 'em, thus far TomKat's marriage has been a rosier adventure than the recent joining of Microsoft and Novell, which, just weeks in is already on rocky footing.

That's because the two tech companies are already squabbling over certain patent rights disclosed within the deal, and the result could lead to anything but a worthwhile relationship between the powerhouse companies.

Most of the outrage is the result of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's recent remark that Novell's signing of the deal acknowledges that the company is infringing on MS intellectual property. Apparently, Novell never got that memo, and are in turn snapping back with their own opinion on the issue.

The problem Novell faces is that it must answer to an angry open source community before dealing with Microsoft. Many Linux users feel completely betrayed by the deal, and Ballmer's recent statement is an affirmation to some that the marriage simply cannot work. (source:

That's why Novell's man in charge, CEO Ron Hovsepian, recently told Linux users via public letter that he "strongly disagrees with and disputes" any of the comments spewing from Ballmer. (source:

The interesting thing to note on this one is the general silence of Microsoft below Ballmer's lofty position. Since it's possible MS could be infringing on a number of Novell's intellectual properties, most at the Redmond-based company have refused to make any remarks like that made by its CEO.

For now, chalk this one up as gaffe by Steve Ballmer. Although hardly of Kramer proportions, the slip up is something Microsoft may want to quickly slide under the rug.

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