Bruce Perens: Microsoft and TomTom Settle, Justice and Linux Lose

Posted by henke54 on Mar 31, 2009 11:38 PM EDT
Datamation; By Bruce Perens
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Microsoft and TomTom have settled their patent lawsuit in a way that leaves Microsoft's FAT patents active as a threat to other companies. Since I last wrote on this topic, TomTom brought a counter-suit against Microsoft, attempting to get the software giant to license four mapping patents that TomTom claims MS infringed. Tomtom apparently had previously been attempting to convince Microsoft to license. So, it's hard for me to find sympathy for either player in these lawsuits, but there's lots of sympathy to hand out to the software industry, justice, and Linux – all losers in this deal. Justice lost because there's been no trial to overturn the FAT filesystem patents. As venture capitalist Larry Augustin wrote: "Those of us who have PhDs in computer disciplines and have studied operating systems and file systems, don't see anything particularly innovative in FAT or its extension to support longer file names, FAT32."

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