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Microsoft FATtens up patent portfolio

Linux vendor Tuxera enters arena

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Microsoft inked an intellectual property licensing deal with Tuxera Ltd yesterday.

Financial terms between Redmond and the Linux software vendor were kept secret.

Under the agreement, Helsinki, Finland-based Tuxera has joined Microsoft's exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) driver-licensing program and its Interop Vendor Alliance community.

Tuxera, which offers NTFS and exFAT file system drivers that guarantee plug and play Windows interoperability, was founded by the NTFS-3G open source project.

The outfit claims that its industry standard driver has been installed over 10m times. It has implemented its NTFS read/write support on Linux, Mac OS X and other platforms.

"Tuxera is also the first to offer exFAT for any system based on extensive collaboration with Microsoft including intellectual property and alliance agreements," claimed the firm in a statement.

Thanks to the tie-up with MS, Tuxera said it now has access to the exFAT specifications, Microsoft's source code implementation of the file system and testing and verification tools.

“As an open source company, we feel excited to sign an intellectual property agreement with Microsoft," said Tuxera boss Mikko Välimäki.

"They are a great partner, and I am confident that our agreements, and this collaboration, will ensure a bright future for file system interoperability and data portability that benefits device manufacturers and consumers alike.”

This is Microsoft's most recent patent agreement with a Linux vendor.

In March it signed an IP licensing deal with TomTom after the companies exchanged sue balls in court. The pair eventually agreed to play nice, much to the chagrin of many in the open source world. ®

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