Novell has been acquired by The Attachmate Group (http://attachmategroup.com/) and is now privately owned and the original Novell businesses now form most of what The Attachmate Group is.
TAG is now operating four businesses: Attachmate - their original business, NetIQ - the systems/network/identity/compliance/security-management company, where the Novell Managewise, Zenworks, identity manager, platespin, orchestrator, etc, etc, products are a significant part of the portfolio, then Novell - with the "true" Novell products like NetWare and GroupWise, and finally SUSE, with the Linux products.
And TAG is doing rather well overall.
Regarding the IP, you could've seen in the news that this was abould the old Novell patent warchest. Patents that Novell owned for defense purposes, sort of an atomic stockpile for mutual assured destruction. They've been purchased by a consortium created by Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and EMC and safely stored in an equivalent of a nuclear waste storage facility until their danger to the members of the consortium expires.
And nothing of value to Novell was lost - TAG retained the IP relevant to Novell's, NetIQ's and SUSE's present products. You may argue that with a reduction of the number of warheads TAG is more vulnerable. Novell/SUSE/TAG are still a (contributing) member of the OIN and thus believes it doesn't need to own such a huge stockpile itself.