New Linux patch could circumvent Microsoft's FAT patents
Jul 02, 2009, 17:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Paul)
"The outcome of the lawsuit created ambiguity around the legal
status of the Linux FAT implementation. Microsoft contends that the
suit was a largely isolated incident and that there are no plans to
pursue litigation against individual Linux users. For commercial
Linux adopters, however, the situation is murkier. Linux is widely
used on mobile and embedded devices, and many of these need to be
able to read FAT-formatted removable media.
"The Linux Foundation says that the best solution at this point
is for vendors to ditch FAT and come up with a new vendor-neutral
format that can be used without having to pay licensing fees.
Although that might be a viable long-term solution, there is still
a clear need to support FAT in Linux today. To facilitate this,
developers are evaluating technical workarounds while the Open
Invention Network is seeking prior art for the purpose of
invalidating the patents."