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LinuxInsider: FAT Patent: Threat to the Free and Developing Worlds?

Jun 23, 2004, 01:45 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lisa Stapleton)

"In a decision that could have far-reaching implications--from the fate of free software to the technology used in developing countries--the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) a reexamination of a recently granted patent (number 5,579,517) on the use of file allocation tables (FATs), a ubiquitous technique for accessing a file system.

"The FAT file system is used in many modern devices, including those that use flash memory, and many operating systems, such as Linux and Windows Relevant Products/Services from InterLand Business Hosting Services. Microsoft has been granted several file-related patents recently, and PubPat believes that all will fall if the USPTO invalidates or limits the FAT patent..."

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