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DATE 2006-01-01

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MESSAGE
DATE 2006-01-11
FROM From: "Inker, Evan"
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Microsoft's file system patent upheld
From owner-hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Wed Jan 11 09:37:34 2006
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From: "Inker, Evan"
To: hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Microsoft's file system patent upheld
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 14:40:12 -0000
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Its a sad day for all concerned. FAT is now legally patented by
Microsoft.....


Microsoft's file system patent upheld

By Anne Broache
http://news.com.com/Microsofts+file+system+patent+upheld/2100-1012_3-6025447
.html

Story last modified Tue Jan 10 14:09:00 PST 2006

Two patents covering one of Microsoft's main Windows file-storage systems
are valid after all, federal patent examiners have decided.
The decision, announced Tuesday by the software giant, effectively ends a
two-year saga over the patents and reverses two non-final rulings--the
latest issued in October--in which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
rejected Microsoft's claims.

In their latest action, filed last week, the examiners concluded that the
company's File Allocation Table (FAT) file system is, in fact, "novel and
non-obvious," entitling it to patentability. Now the office is in the
process of issuing a "patent re-examination certificate," which signals the
finality of the decision, a Microsoft representative said.

The FAT file system, a common means of storing files, was originally
developed for the DOS operating system, but has also been employed in
Microsoft's Windows and on removable flash memory cards used in digital
cameras and other devices. Some Linux- and Unix-related products also use
the system to exchange data with Windows.

The Patent Office agreed to re-examine two patents covering the FAT system
at the request of a little-known public interest group called the Public
Patent Foundation in April 2004.

That organization claimed there was "prior art" that proved Microsoft was
not the first company to come up with the file format.

It also voiced concern that Microsoft would try to seek royalties from
companies that sell and support Linux for using the technology, potentially
posing a threat to the free software community. Under the terms of the Free
Software Foundation's General Public License, Linux cannot be distributed if
it contains patented technology that requires royalty payments.

The Patent Office's final decision followed several non-binding decisions
that were unfavorable to Microsoft. After issuing its preliminary rejection
of the patents in September 2004, examiners handed down a similar decision
about a year later.

All along, Microsoft voiced confidence that the patents would be upheld.
David Kaefer, the company's director of business development, said Tuesday
that the company was "very pleased" with the office's final decision. "This
result underscores the validity of these patents but also the importance of
allowing third parties to request re-examinations," he said in a statement.

Public Patent Foundation President Dan Ravicher said his organization
disagreed with the Patent Office's conclusions and offered a broader
critique.

"Microsoft has won a debate where they were the only party allowed to speak,
in that the patent re-examination process bars the public from rebutting
arguments made by Microsoft," he told CNET News.com. "We still believe these
patents are invalid and that a process that gave the public equal time to
present its positions would result in them being found as such."

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.


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  1. 2006-01-02 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Limits to Copyright enforcement
  2. 2006-01-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Big Brother is watching you
  3. 2006-01-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: TONIGHT -- REP. WEINER ON NY1 INSIDE CITY HALL]
  4. 2006-01-04 Matthew <mph-at-dorsai.org> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] RMS talk
  5. 2006-01-04 Steve Wainstead <swain-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] RMS talk
  6. 2006-01-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: GPLv3 Conference]
  7. 2006-01-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] RMS talk
  8. 2006-01-05 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: Linux usage in NYC schools]
  9. 2006-01-05 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: Linux usage in NYC schools]
  10. 2006-01-05 Paul Robert Marino <pmarino-at-wagweb.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: Linux usage in NYC schools]
  11. 2006-01-11 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Microsoft's file system patent upheld
  12. 2006-01-11 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] 25 Reasons to Convert to Linux
  13. 2006-01-18 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] FW: UNIGROUP 19-JAN-2006 (Thu): OpenSUSE Linux Field Trip to Nove ll
  14. 2006-01-18 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Consumer group calls for anti-DRM laws
  15. 2006-01-19 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS Chinese New Year Celebration
  16. 2006-01-20 From: <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS Chinese New Year Celebration
  17. 2006-01-23 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Development Release: SUSE Linux 10.1 Beta 1
  18. 2006-01-24 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] January 2006 General Meeting
  19. 2006-01-24 From: <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] January 2006 General Meeting
  20. 2006-01-24 rc <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Retraining for Silicon Alley
  21. 2006-01-25 From: "Gwendolyn Champion" <hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: We approved yours loan
  22. 2006-01-25 Peter Siegel <psiegel-at-copper.net> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: January 2006 General Meeting
  23. 2006-01-26 Walt Costanza <wjc-at-retsambew.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] If you think you can use it, it's yours.
  24. 2006-01-26 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Novell Linux Survey: What Software Do You Want on Linux?
  25. 2006-01-31 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS General Meeting, Thur Feb. 09, 2006 7:00pm

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