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29 April 2009, 16:30

Microsoft patents exhibited by Linux Defenders

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The Open Invention Network (OIN) has placed three of the patents involved in the recently settled legal dispute between Microsoft and TomTom, the GPS navigator manufacturer, on the Linux Defenders portal, to throw them open to public investigation for prior art. The OIN collects patents on the Post-Issue Peer To Patent page that have already been granted, but that could possibly be invalidated if it could be shown that information was publicly available before a patent was applied for. TomTom joined the network shortly after the Microsoft patent action against it became known.

The TomTom case is a dispute over patents 5.579.517, "(a) Common name space for long and short file names", 5.758.352, "(b) Common name space for long and short file names", and 6.256.642, "Method and system for file system management using a flash-erasable, programmable, read-only memory".

The Open Invention Network, an association of large IT and leisure electronics companies, manages its own collection of patents as a non-profit organization. Anyone may use any of the strategic patents (which now number more than one hundred) free of charge, as long as they promise not to make any patent claims of their own against Linux or other open source software.


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