At the risk of being labeled a Pollyanna, can I point out what seems like the most likely motive behind the patent situation?
Novell and Microsoft have fairly extensive licensing agreements from Novell's early NetWare and Windows for Workgroups days through the Mono agreements. I'm not sure who all the other members of CPTN Holdings are, but I'll guess that they are other interested parties from Novell's past as well. Maybe even The SCO Group - who knows?
But mergers like these can raise a lot of hairy "ownership" issues. A relatively simple solution to these problems is to transfer the contentious issues out to another organization, and then have that organization provide uniform agreements to all interested parties - which sounds a lot like what's happening. This shell company gets the patents, and everyone gets equal access - Microsoft, Novell (if the deal goes bad), and Accenture. As far as we know, this may even be required by Microsoft/Novell agreements made with the Mono transaction.
While I'm not saying not to be vigilant, it's also important not to overreact. Until they're in the hands of the public, all software patents are equal threats.