[SATLUG] Microsoft at it again . . .

Crandall, Sean scrandall at jw.com
Thu Feb 26 17:47:00 CST 2009

Without reading the patents (or really the whole complaint in detail),
it _looks_ like these are primarily patents drawn specifically to in-car
computers and similar stuff.  In those cases, Linux would not be
anything special.  It would just provide one part of a multi-part system
(in other words, you may not infringe these patents just by having Linux
installed on a computer).  The ones that kind of gives me pause are a
patent with the title "Common Name Space for Long and Short File Names"
and one with the title "Method and System for File System Management
Using a Flash-Erasable, Programmable, Read-only Memory."  The titles
don't really tell me anything about what is claimed, but those sound
more like something that you could *possibly* run afoul of just by
running Linux (or Linux on a flash memory).

Still, I can kind of see the MS PR guy's point.  This is not a case of
MS "going after Open Source."  This is more a case of MS going after
on-board navigation, and the victim just happens to use open source for
a component that just as well could have been closed source.  The patent
doesn't care about your license.  And while it may be worrisome that the
last two patents even exist (esp. if they have broad claims), I don't
see this as MS throwing down the gauntlet.  It's pretty common to pummel
your opponent with every patent you can when you sue.

I'm not saying it might not be coming, but I don't think this is the
"first strike."

Sean C. Crandall 
Registered Patent Attorney
Jackson Walker L.L.P. 
112 E. Pecan Suite 2400 
San Antonio, Texas 78205 
Phone:  (210) 978.7714  
Fax:    (210) 242.4656 
email:  scrandall at jw.com 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: satlug-bounces at satlug.org 
> [mailto:satlug-bounces at satlug.org] On Behalf Of Ian
> Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:20 PM
> To: The San Antonio Linux User's Group Mailing List
> Subject: [SATLUG] Microsoft at it again . . .
> Can someone please read the following article and disseminate it for
> me?  What exactly is Tom Tom being sued for?
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/26/microsoft_tomtom/
> Mike
> -- 
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