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It’s well known news that TomTom settled on the patents claim from Microsoft.

Nothing to do with FAT

The settlement agreement requires TomTom to remove the infringing parts from its products in 2 years from now.

Software Freedom Law Center noted:

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.

Redhat released the following comment:

Red Hat was not a party to this case. Even so, without a judicial decision, the settlement does not demonstrate that the claims of Microsoft were valid. Patent litigation is a difficult process, and there are many reasons besides the merits of the case that a defendant such as TomTom might have chosen to settle in the present economic environment. As the terms of the settlement license have not, to our knowledge, been made public, it is not possible to comment on their compliance with open source requirements and principles.

While the agreement will provide a certain amount of money for Microsoft, what will the whole story be useful for ?

As RedHat and SFCL note, a settlement does not constitute a precedent in future trials. I can’t think of Microsoft doing that just for money, because that just would confirm the claims about their business model being a dying, and the chance it will just become the next SCO.

OT: oh, and it’s worth nothing sissy-crying about being excluded, when you show such attitude towards other companies.

So, WTF ?

  • useless 1-time amount of money for Microsoft (“financial details of settlement not disclosed” – so we may even wonder if MS will ever get a penny)
  • still bad PR
  • strong incentive for the market to set aside the fuck FAT standard and switch to an open filesystem.

Yeah, because… why does everyone uses FAT ? Because it’s diffused, very operating system can read it and write it. Well, it happens one major vendorTomTomhas just promised to remove patent encumbered functionality from their products – and wonder what ? They were asked do it from Microsoft itself.

I’m looking forward to see other embedded vendors to join the burden of migration.

Get rid of the FAT

That’s all, that was my egg for today :-) .

6 Responses

  1. Hi,

    I’m not really sure what this all means.

  2. Hans

    Too bad FAT has become the defacto standard on USB memory pens. And that just because of MS-lockin, they don’t support other file systems.

  3. Where do you try to make your money?

    Google AdSense is horrible. I ‘m now using Commission Junction.

  4. Stefano Forenza

    @JJMacey: I don’t make any money, the banners are just out of experimentation and out of a bet with a friend (he wanted me to put on banners).
    You don’t make big money with adsense, you don’t make any money blogging about Linux.

  5. Matthew

    I’ve long thought that someone needs to come up with a new filesystem designed specifically for flash memory and released under a license that will enable every OS to support it out of the box so that flash drives won’t come preformatted with FAT, purely because that works on any OS. Call it a “Universal Flash File System”, perhaps. I guess the closest to that is LogFS, but that’s GPL’d, and as far as I know that would prevent Microsoft from including support for it in the Windows NT kernel. Perhaps the BSD license might be a better idea. Yes, it’s a compromise but in this case it might well be for the greater good. It’s ridiculous that we’re still using FAT on flash drives when flash drives hadn’t even been invented when FAT came about.

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