Yesterday Novell released a statement disavowing Steve Ballmer's claim that Linux infringes Microsoft's IP. Linux-watch.com reports that Microsoft quickly responded with a statement of its own that softened, but did not entirely back away from, Ballmer's claim (but the article offers no link to such a statement). xtaski writes, "Everyone took notice when Ballmer spewed forth FUD about Microsoft and Linux IP. Now CIOs are asking just what did Ballmer think he was doing? They are not fooled — but rather, a little angry. ComputerWorld covers the news including one CIO who says 'There were some applications I had been thinking about moving to a Microsoft platform, but this has now totally alienated me from Microsoft.'" And an anonymous reader points us to the statement by the Open Invention Network — whose investors include IBM, Novell, Sony, Red Hat, Philips and NEC — on the Microsoft-Novell agreement. From the statement: "OIN continues to support the Linux community's ability to collaborate and innovate. Through the accumulation of patents that may be used to shield the Linux environment, including users of Linux software, OIN has obviated the need for offers of protection from others."