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Novell’s Patents Are Complicating Its Sale

Sep 17, 2010, 16:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Asay)

"After months on the auction block, Novell will be put out of its misery and sold within the next three weeks, according to credible sources. The only question is, why it has taken so long? The answer, according to a source close to the company, is patents. Big, juicy patents.

"After all, there's no real mystery to Novell's business (see disclosure below). Most of its legacy product portfolio is just that: a legacy of a bygone era when Novell was king of the networking hill, with a suite of services built up to sustain and advance that leadership. Products like GroupWise and Zenworks, renamed and reorganized constantly to make them appear fresh and new, have mainly sat on the shelf, as financial results demonstrate, quarter after quarter.

"The crown jewel — Novell's SUSE Linux business — has never gotten the mileage it deserved, shackled by Novell's weak corporate brand. It was propped up only by a desperate deal with Microsoft..."

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