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, 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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Member since:

Actually there is. *cough*IBM*cough*

Reply Parent Score: 2

Googlesaurus Member since:

"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)

Reply Parent Score: 1

Hands Member since:

Actually, IBM would have a prayer of fighting this one. Prior art isn't the only reason for invalidating a patent or royalty claims. IBM has a Linux product which they probably want to protect. It may not be for altruistic reasons, but IBM does have some interest in the well-being of Linux.

The fact that MS allowed FAT to become widely adopted by various industries before they started demanding royalties means that even without prior art there other legal protections for those who were using FAT before MS asked for royalties.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Wrawrat Member since:

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

dylansmrjones Member since:

A multibillion company being a white horse of kindness and generosity?

I don't think so. IBM is only kind when they gain from it. That's at least what I would expect from any company.

Reply Parent Score: 1