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FAT Patent Under Dispute?

By Phantasm66
Jun 13, 2004
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  1. The file system that Microsoft Windows and MS-DOS before it has used (if only in part now) for years may well be the subject of coming legal dispute.

    "In April, the Public Patent Foundation asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to revoke a patent that covers the FAT (File Allocation Table) file system--the older of two main systems used by Windows to store files."

    Support for FAT and FAT32 has become so common on Linux, Apple Mac, and just about everything else under the sun that its a kind of a standard of sorts in terms of data storage on computer systems. Some people also worry that because the Linux kernel comes with read and write FAT support that its a copyright infringement, after a fashion. However, others feel that its Microsoft who are in the wrong to retain a patent over this file system technology:

    "We are obviously very pleased with the Patent Office's decision to grant our request to re-examine Microsoft's FAT patent," group founder Dan Ravicher said in the statement. "This is the first step toward ending the harm being caused to the public by this patent that should have never been issued."

    More here.
  2. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 583

    A global war against software patents should take place, but even in Europe it's too late, a vote has validated the EU patent law.

    People around me are not even aware of what a software patent is and even less of how it could change their everyday life. Im also speaking of IT people, lots of them also know nothing about that problem. That's the main reason such stuff happens, people don't know what's going on around them.
  3. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    I dont' have a problem with IP as such, but things can go too far.

    Like MS now trying to charge memory stick makers for using FAT on their chips...

    But I don't believe in the GPL, and tries to avoid using software that's distributed under it. LGPL is ... OK I guess, but that's about it.

    And here I stopped myself from starting to ramble on about patents, OpenSource etc.
  4. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 583

    Why so ?
  5. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Because I didn't feel it was the right place, and didn't have enough time to do it properly.


    I do now, but I'm too pissed off since I found out someone is defrauding me with my visa card! And I have no idea how long it's been going on! I just spotted it now since my card doens't work in Taxi's anymore (their readers are too sensitive and my magnet strip isn't up to scratch) and I just got a taxi bill for ~30$ from last friday!!!

    Sorry for OT, I'm just :mad: and want to :unch: the *%#ยค%"# behind this!
    [EDIT]
    Having cooled off somewhat, I hope that there isnt' card fraud, but only a manual payment (no computer, but on paper) that has been delayed for ages before going through
    [/EDIT]
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    Ten other useful things Microsoft could patent :

    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=16512

  7. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Phant> LoL! nice find!
  8. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 583

    I especially like point number 7
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