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Wrong Jeff Merkey?

Mr. Jeff V. Merkey

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Background Information

Employment History

Chief Scientist

Solera Networks Inc

Chief Executive Officer

Timpanogas Research Group


Novell Inc

Chief Scientist

Novell Inc


Novell Inc

The SCO Group Inc


Timpanogas Research Group


Web References (66 Total References)

Mr. Merkey worked at ... [cached]

Mr. Merkey worked at Novell, but left to form the Timpanogas Research Group, which, at times, intended to sell "virtual network disk" technology, the Ute-Linux distribution, and a Netware-like kernel called MANOS. The company spent vast amounts of money in litigation with Novell, and was ahead of the curve in the indemnification game:

TRG grants indemnification against infringement claims by Novell to any commercial Linux companies, customers, distributors, etc. who use patches, NWFS, THOR, Ute-Linux, MANOS or any TRG technologies in their releases.
Mr. Merkey claimed to have disposed of the Novell issue by means of having filed a sexual harassment suit against the company, but life was not to be so easy. The closure of Timpanogas was announced in 2001:
I have dissolved TRG as a Utah Corporation and I am now focused on a variety of projects for various clients related to Linux development. Novell has recently threatened to try to take my house and assets if I post any more NWFS releases or MANOS.
One would think that Mr. Merkey would have had enough intellectual property litigation for one life, but that appears to not be the case. He recently resurfaced on linux-kernel with this interesting offer:
This discussion is done; we must confess, however, to a certain curiosity about what Mr. Merkey's next scheme will be.
What I don't understand is why Mr. Merkey got so much publicity. Here's a fellow who showed a complete and utter ignorance of the basic concepts of copyright and work-for-hire when he left Novell, and paid for it big-time. In the doing, he really did contaminate the Linux kernel with Novell's intellectual property.
I don't think many people care if it was Merkey or anyone else. It's just that Merkey gave such an insultingly low offer that it's bizarrely entertaining. He offered $50K; my calculations estimate that it would cost $612 million (US) to redevelop the Linux kernel. Even if he offered $612 million, I doubt the offer would be taken.
First of all, Merkey did not offer to buy the copyright.
Jeff Merkey is not serious. He is just trying to annoy or irrigate them.
Just read all his emails. A sure tone of mocking. Do you believe that someone who tries to do his job actually insults the folks he needs to work with, again and again?
Buying the kernel
Posted Nov 1, 2004 16:06 UTC (Mon) by qu1j0t3 (subscriber, #25786) [Link]
Jeff Merkey is not serious He sounds serious to me, not to mention seriously unhinged ...
Merkey's emails were spoofed?
Posted Nov 10, 2004 0:55 UTC (Wed) by ggoebel (guest, #4487) [Link]
I raised an eyebrow the first time I saw the emails that were purported to originate with Jeff Merkey. The guy has a more than healthy ego and a set of perogatives that have often been in less than harmony with the majority of the linux kernel mailing list. But he's not an idiot.
In this light, it bears mentioning that Jeff Merkey has disavowed the emails that have gotten everyone all riled up. I.e., he says he didn't write them.
Merkey is a contentious and provoking person.

Todays News [cached]

TRG's CEO Jeff Merkey stated, Based on our early analysis of Caldera's impressive product offerings and technical and management talent, we believe that Caldera's future platform offerings will provide the enterprise class capabilities that internet-aware companies will need in their businesses.We plan to provide NetWare (TM) interoperability and migration components to enterprise customers who want to migrate and deploy these platforms in existing NetWare (TM) environments..

TRG is also issuing the following statement regarding prior plans to provide an Open Source NetWare (TM) Directory Services on the Linux Platform.TRG is focusing it be efforts in the NetWare (TM) market towards preserving and promoting Novell's NetWare (TM) technologies in an Open Source Form and making them more pervasive to enterprise customers through it be MANOS Open Source Initiative.We will be providing an Open Source NDS (TM) on MANOS 2H 2001 that will be freely available to the Linux Community at that time.It is not our desire at this time to hand Microsoft or anyone else an open source scythe they can use to harvest the NetWare (TM) installed base until a competitive Open Source NetWare NOS is available for Novell's customers to consider..

GrokLaw: The Novell-Merkey Case (1998) - Judge Says Merkey Emails to Microsoft Were Signed "Your Loyal Servant" [cached]

Note especially paragraph 158, where the judge highlights Mr. Merkey's signing off his emails to Microsoft "Your Loyal Servant". He was trying to do some business with Microsoft at the time. The judge had a few descriptive words for Mr. Merkey, as you will note particularly in paragraph 123 - 125 of the Findings of Fact:

123. Major testified that even though he has such a close business relationship with Merkey, he has to filter what Merkey says to find the truth, he is unable to control Merkey, Merkey is able to create his own reality which may have no basis in fact, and Merkey is prone to exaggeration.
124. In fact, however, Merkey is not just prone to exaggeration, he also is and can be deceptive, not only to his adversaries, but also to his own partners, his business associates and to the court. He deliberately describes his own, separate reality.
Following that withdrawal, Coudert Brothers, and W. Andrew McCullough and Randy Lish of McCullough, Jones & Ivins have represented TRG; Andrew McCullough and Randy Lish have represented defendants Darren Major and Larry Angus; and defendant Jeff Merkey has appeared pro se.
6. Immediately prior to the happening of the events of March and April 1997, Merkey was a chief scientist at Novell and was the software engineer in charge of Novell's Wolf Mountain project, which was engaged in the development of a clustering initiative.
7. Immediately prior to the happening of the events of March and April 1997, Major was a software engineer working for Merkey in Novell's Wolf Mountain project.
8. Immediately prior to the happening of the events of March and April 1997, Angus was working for Merkey in Novell's Wolf Mountain project.
9. At the time of his initial hire by Novell in 1993, Merkey signed an Agreement Respecting Trade Secrets, Inventions, Copyrights and Patents (Ex. 101).
10. The agreement provided that during his employment he would have possession or access to materials which contained trade secrets, confidential technical or business information of Novell and that he agreed not to use any such information for himself or others and not to disclose any such information at any time during or after employment by Novell.
23. From the inception of the Wolf Mountain project, Merkey was the chief scientist and the head engineer working on this project.
26. By late fall 1996, Merkey envisioned Wolf Mountain as a stand alone operating system to replace the operating system used by Novell in its NetWare and IntranetWare products.
27. From its inception the Wolf Mountain project had been housed at the Orem campus of Novell while the long established group which developed Novell's NetWare product (hereafter the "core operating group") was housed at the Provo campus.
28. During all of this time, Merkey felt that the Wolf Mountain group was treated much like a stepchild by the core operating group. He endured this because he felt that Wolf Mountain constituted the first significant innovation at Novell in a long time and constituted a potential product which would return Novell to major importance in the computer industry.
29. Part of Merkey's ability to deal with what he felt to be second class treatment of the Wolf Mountain group by Novell was the personal support he felt directly from Novell's presidents.
33. While Merkey and his team felt the roll-out went generally well, they received criticism from the core operating group at Novell.
37. Merkey felt that placing Wolf Mountain under common management with the core operating group was a significant blow, if not the death knell for Wolf Mountain as a separate, distinguishable product to be offered by Novell. He doubted that with both the core operating group and Wolf Mountain under the direction of Gibson, Novell would ever be able to regain its position in the computer industry.
38. In early 1997, when Merkey realized that Novell was not going to proceed with the Wolf Mountain project in the manner which he wished, he began to devise a plan to take the Wolf Mountain project out of Novell.
39. Initially, Merkey sought to take Wolf Mountain from Novell in an amicable fashion, by agreement with Novell that a new spin out company would be formed.
Though both discussed the issue with Merkey, neither Marengi, who was president of Novell until early April 1997, nor Eric Schmidt, who was president thereafter, approved the spin out.
51. Although Gibson initially scotched the idea of featuring Wolf Mountain at Brainshare, Merkey lobbied hard for Novell to prominently display its Wolf Mountain technologies at Brainshare.
54. Brainshare was held during the week of March 24, 1997, at which time Merkey made a number of presentations in which he touted the Wolf Mountain technology.
59. On March 18, 1997, Novell and Merkey and Major entered into an agreement by which Merkey and Major were allowed to form a new corporation for the purpose of engaging in software development (Ex. 8).
59. On March 18, 1997, Novell and Merkey and Major entered into an agreement by which Merkey and Major were allowed to form a new corporation for the purpose of engaging in software development (Ex. 8).
60. One condition of the March 18 agreement is that Merkey and Major would respect Novell's intellectual property rights.
62. Merkey personally agreed that, since he still was an employee of Novell, he would comply with the existing Novell employee confidentiality procedures.
64. Stevenson invested in this company on the express assurance from Merkey that the company had the blessing of Novell's management.
66. Merkey, Major and Stevenson were the original investors in TRG.
67. Prior to April 17, 1997, Merkey transmitted to John Balciunas, via e-mail, a copy of a document entitled Tapestry for NT Architecture Overview (Ex. 26).
This document originally was prepared by Merkey on a Novell computer server.
68. Also, in a draft press release issued by TRG on or about March 31, 1997, at a time that Merkey still was an employee of Novell, TRG announced plans to develop a product named Tapestry with the feature set described in the Wolf Mountain Architectural Overview (Ex. 49).
69. The Tapestry document is virtually identical to a document prepared by Merkey while at Novell entitled Scalable Server Division Wolf Mountain Architecture Overview (Ex. 10).
70. A close comparison of the two documents reveals that virtually the entire text of the Tapestry document has been lifted verbatim from the Novell Wolf Mountain Architecture Overview document. A few names and acronyms have been changed, but nothing else.
71. The Tapestry document is not the work of Merkey at TRG, but is the work of Novell which Merkey copied whole cloth.
72. In an internal e-mail at Microsoft Balciunas noted on April 4, 1997, that it would take a couple of weeks for Microsoft to work out positioning of the Wolf Mountain software. From the face of the e-mail it is obvious he was in contact with Merkey (Ex. 51).
73. On April 7, 1997, Merkey sent Jim Allchin at Microsoft an e-mail concerning the creation of Wolf Mountain Group, Inc., indicating that Marengi had approved a patent cross license between Novell and Wolf Mountain Group and inviting Microsoft to buy a 30% ownership interest in Wolf Mountain Group, Inc.
74. In an internal e-mail at Microsoft, Balciunas noted that Merkey was scheduled to meet with him on April 17, 1997, and that Balciunas had a copy of Merkey's architectural overview of his product (Ex. 54).
74. In an internal e-mail at Microsoft, Balciunas noted that Merkey was scheduled to meet with him on April 17, 1997, and that Balciunas had a copy of Merkey's architectural overview of his product (Ex. 54).
75. On April 16, 1997, Merkey met with Schmidt in a lengthy meeting in Schmidt's office.
78. At the conclusion of the meeting between Merkey, Major and Schmidt, Schmidt asked that Merkey and Major take no further action with respect to TRG for two weeks.
78. At the conclusion of the meeting between Merkey, Major and Schmidt, Schmidt asked that

Former Novell chief scientist ... [cached]

Former Novell chief scientist Jeffrey Merkey says he donated $5,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation in exchange for changes to his Wikipedia entry.

Mr Merkey says Mr Wales agreed to "use his influence" to remove libellous remarks in the entry.

Russian Mafia Conspiracy on Wall Street in Media and Government [cached]

Then Jeff Merkey, a former top scientist at software development company Novell, writes Wales an email that says, "I just sent ***ALL*** of your emails to the associated press, exposing your lies and deceit. The Associated Press, in turn, reports that Wales gave special protection to the Wikipedia article on Jeff Merkey in exchange for a substantial donation to the Wikimedia Foundation.

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