According to the “FOSS Patents” site (, Apple has teamed up with Microsoft, Oracle and EMC in a joint venture to purchase 882 patents from a company called Novell.

“I don’t know much about EMC other than that it’s a very significant company,” Florian Mueller writes for “FOSS Patents.” “I do know that Apple and Oracle are clearly companies who have different approaches to some important issues than Microsoft. Within the consortium, the four players will have to agree on a common denominator concerning the patents to be acquired. They’ve apparently been able to agree that those patents are valuable assets to own. I still don’t know the list of those patents, but it’s important progress that we now have the names of the companies, thanks to the German competition authority.”

Exactly which patents are included hasn’t been determined. But Novell, which specializes in enterprise operating systems, was bought by Attachmate earlier this year.

Novell specializes in intelligent workload management and “helps organizations securely deliver and manage computing services across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments.” Attachmate, owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo, “enables IT organizations to extend mission critical services and assures they are managed, secure and compliant.”