In a move to quell growing concerns that it has sold Linux out to Microsoft as part of its Attachmate deal — On Wednesday, Novell's John Dragoon issued a short statement saying that Novell -- not Microsoft -- owns the copyrights on Unix.
"Novell will continue to own Novell's Unix copyrights following completion of the merger as a subsidiary of Attachmate."
Dragoon's statement came two days after Novell said that it’s being sold to Attachmate for $2.2bn. Under the deal, the barely-known Attachmate is selling 882 Novell patents to an even lesser known Microsoft-backed consortium called CPTN Holdings LLC for $450m in cash.
Novell's SEC filing on the deal didn't specify which patents are going to Microsoft, and Microsoft hasn't coughed up details either.
Ownership of Unix was a critical issue in SCO's prosecution of IBM and others. SCO contended that it -- and not Novell -- owned Unix and that its IP had been used without its permission in Linux.