Feeds

Linux patch sidesteps Microsoft's TomTom patent

VFAT gets trimmed

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A Linux patch has been released to circumvent a Microsoft patent that landed Linux user TomTom in hot water.

The patch avoids the need to create both short - 8.3 - and long filenames, the crux of Microsoft's patent dispute with TomTom. Instead, you create one or the other.

Microsoft holds the patent on the Virtual File Allocation Table (VFAT) file system variant that lets you create the short and long filenames.

Samba author and contributor Andrew Tridgell, who posted about the Linux patch, warned that people should apply the patch even though Microsoft's VFAT patent might be invalid.

That means software developers and makers of common consumer goods ranging from mobile computing devices to digital cameras that run on Linux and use file systems.

Tridgell warned that Linux vendors risked having their businesses severely disrupted if they ended up fighting Microsoft over VFAT. A community peer-review process is underway looking for prior art to challenge VFAT, but it is far from complete so the patent still stands.

Tridgell said it was best not to infringe the patent, thereby avoiding a potential trial.

"That means you have to have an extremely clear explanation of how the patent does not apply to your code. The aim of the patches we have posted is to ensure that we would meet that standard," Tridgell wrote here.

During the TomTom case Microsoft pursued its patents through a US court and the International Trade Commission (ITC). A victory at the ITC would have seen Netherlands-based TomTom's popular in-car navigation devices banned from entering the US.

Naturally, this would have severely damaged TomTom's business.

It's the fifth time in seven years Microsoft has turned to the ITC on alleged patent violations, with four of those cases occurring within the last three years.

Microsoft has brought actions against Ultimate Game Club, Belkin, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Primax Electronics. It secured the limited exclusion of products and components by Ultimate Game Club from the US, and saw Belkin and Primax sign up to its Hardware IP Licensing Program. Alcatel-Lucent was found not guilty of violations.

Microsoft settled with TomTom in March under an agreement that TomTom will pay Microsoft for use of its patents for five years and also tweak its Linux-based GPS systems to remove a pair of file-management patents. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.