Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 13th Jan 2006 00:53 UTC
Microsoft On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reaffirmed Microsoft's FAT patents (covering the File Allocation Table), but sources close to the Public Patent Foundation indicate that this is not the end of the story of efforts to overthrow these patents. According to sources cited by Linux-Watch.com, the re-issuance of the patent was based on the examiner's having accepted an argument previously advanced by Microsoft, and previously rejected.
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C'mon, know when you're beaten...
by tomcat on Fri 13th Jan 2006 02:34 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm no great fan of FAT (or LFN/SFN hybrid storage). But there was no prior art, and PubPat failed to show why the patent shouldn't be awarded. So, unless you have an appetite for disappointment, I'd consider this one a hopeless cause. MS won. Get over it.

Reply Score: 3

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I thought CPM might qualify. Didn't they deny because of prior art once?

Reply Parent Score: 1

BrianH Member since:
2005-07-06

They did deny because of prior art once (that is the argument they are talking about), but it wasn't CPM. CPM had a different file system, as I recall.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Jeeeb Member since:
2005-11-12

I thought CPM might qualify. Didn't they deny because of prior art once?
The patent is on vfat so no CPM does not qualify nor does anything else.

Reply Parent Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually there is. *cough*IBM*cough*

Reply Parent Score: 2

Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

"Actually there is. *cough*IBM*cough*"

Actually IBM wouldn't have a prayer of fighting this one. They didn't invent it, and don't own it. Even if MS didn't invent it, they damn sure own the rights.

This patent was filed many months ago. IBM chose to not contest a single sentence of it. If they would have had a valid claim, they would have certainly taken steps to block it. (cheaper to block it, than fight it in court)
*cough*

Reply Parent Score: 1

Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

For some reason, some people seem to believe that IBM is a white horse of kindness and generosity. In reality, their patent folio is huge enough for hurting Microsoft as well as the american open-source community, for who they have no obligation. It's a corporation, not a foundation.

But even if they were, why would they bother? LFN for FAT is a technology used on desktops and flash media. Any competent admin would laugh at the idea of using FAT on the hard drives of their servers. Removable drives like USB keys are useful, but there are alternatives on non-Windows servers. Doesn't mean they wouldn't, but it doesn't really concern them.

On the bright side, the patent could force people and/or companies at investigating alternatives, or even leading to a brand new solution suited at flash devices instead of some old relic.

Reply Parent Score: 1

walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>But there was no prior art<<

There wasn't?

"Microsoft's FAT patent (5,579, 517) is invalid because of three prior art patents, filed by IBM and Xerox in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Microsoft was not granted '517 until 1996."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/15/fat_patent_review/

Reply Parent Score: 2

Jeeeb Member since:
2005-11-12

That would be great if the patent was on FAT, but it is on the system used for storing long file names in vfat.

Reply Parent Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

No prior art? PC/GEOS has stored long filenames on FAT16 partitions since at least 1990. Is it not a similar thing?

Reply Parent Score: 1