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Microsoft Government The Courts News

TomTom Settles With Microsoft 273

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the caves-not-just-for-bears dept.
Surrounded writes "It appears TomTom bowed to the pressure and settled with Microsoft over the recent patent infringement claims from the Redmond software giant. In the agreement, TomTom will pay Microsoft for coverage under the eight car navigation and file management systems patents in the Microsoft case. Also as part of the agreement, Microsoft receives coverage under the four patents included in the TomTom counter-suit. TomTom also has to remove functionality related to two file management system patents (the 'FAT LFN patents')."
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TomTom Settles With Microsoft

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  • Re:this is fail (Score:5, Informative)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday March 30, 2009 @03:58PM (#27393403) Journal
    Being a settlement rather than a judgement, it doesn't set a precedent.
  • by EkriirkE (1075937) on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:07PM (#27393523) Homepage
    LFN is an enhancement to FAT that is not a requirement, it just prettifies.
  • Yes, but (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cajun Hell (725246) on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:09PM (#27393541) Homepage Journal

    FAT is so... 1980's

    FAT legacy support is so .. 1990s. And that's why such archaic crap is still in the patent window.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:11PM (#27393557)

    The article states:

    Microsoft has previously stated that this lawsuit represents an isolated issue and that the company does not intend to broadly sue Linux users.

    I remember when the news of the dispute first became known, it was widely speculated that TomTom threatened Microsoft with some possible patent infringements made by Microsoft Streets, and Microsoft threaten to defend itself by making enforcing a patent claim on FAT.

    In other words, TomTom tried to get a better deal, Microsoft called their bluff, and TomTom folded their hand.

  • by foregather (578505) on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:52PM (#27394195)
    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/2009/mar/30/settled-not-over-yet/ [softwarefreedom.org]

    Today's settlement between Microsoft and TomTom ends one phase of the community's response to Microsoft patent aggression, and begins another. On the basis of the information we have, we have no reason to believe that TomTom's settlement agreement with Microsoft violates the license on the kernel, Linux, or any other free software used in its products. The settlement neither implies that Microsoft patents are valid nor that TomTom's products were or are infringing.

    The FAT filesystem patents on which Microsoft sued are now and have always been invalid patents in our professional opinion. SFLC remains committed to protecting the interests of our clients and the community. We will act forcefully to protect all users and developers of free software against further intimidation or interference from these patents.

    SFLC, working with the Open Invention Network and the Linux Foundation, is pleased to participate in a coordinated, carefully graduated response on behalf of all the community's members to ongoing anti-competitive Microsoft conduct. We believe in strength through unity, and we think our community's unity in the face of these threats has helped to bring about Microsoft's quick settlement on all issues with TomTom.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday March 30, 2009 @05:19PM (#27394645) Homepage Journal
    Anonymous Coward wrote:

    NTFS

    Do you think NTFS isn't patented even more thoroughly than the long file name extensions to FAT?

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Monday March 30, 2009 @06:27PM (#27395529)

    I believe msft is being very successful with that message.

    That message is what the entire scox-scam is about. Think about it, why sue IBM? IBM is not even a Linux distributor. But, IBM had just made a big contribution to linux, and msft wants the world to know: that sort of action does not go unpunished.

    The tomtom suit is another slam-dunk msft victory. Msft gets free access to tomtom's patents, msft gets money from tomtom, and tomtom has to stop using fat. Most importantly of all, the message is broadcast: use Linux, get sued.

    It doesn't matter whether or not the lawsuit has merit. Unless you have about $50 million to fight the lawsuit, msft wins as soon as they file the suit.

  • by icebike (68054) on Monday March 30, 2009 @06:42PM (#27395713)

    > It wouldn't affect the average home user, but think about the implications for I.T. Staff.

    Said Staff would be rejoicing because proprietary company documents would stop walking out the door on every disgruntled employee's thumb drive.

    I'm sure that corporate IT is not by far the largest thumb drive consumer, let alone cameras, SD cards, Cell phones, etc.

    You can always format the thumb drive again with what ever file system you want.

    Besides, you make a mountain out of a mole hill. Microsoft would distribute the driver for you, just like they do for hundreds of other third party drivers.

  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) * <tmh@nodomain.org> on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:01PM (#27395903) Homepage

    especially since from all reports I've seen the TomTom devices themselves don't expose the filenames they are working with.

    Which reports would these be.. the ones from people who have never used a TomTom?

    All a tomtom basically is to a PC is an external drive (actually two, for the models with internal and addon flash separate) - then the TomTom software reads and writes files to it. This includes the OS (linux) and boot files, so LFN is pretty much required, unless TomTom have a version of Linux that can boot using only 8.3 filenames.

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