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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."

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