Feeds

Microsoft FAT patent appeal upheld in Germany

Does my bum look big in this?

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

A German appeal court has upheld Microsoft’s controversial patent that describes the means used to store long filenames on FAT file systems without flouting compatibility with old applications.

In 2007 the German Federal Patent Tribunal alleged that patent EP0618540 was difficult to distinguish from work done on the Rock Ridge Interchange Protocol developed in 1991, which allowed long filenames to be used on the ISO9660 file system used on CDs.

However, last Tuesday (20 April) the appeals court* in Germany threw out that argument due to technical differences between the two systems. It found that Microsoft had solved new problems in the FAT file system that the Rock Ridge work hadn’t taken into account.

Redmond’s development of long names on FAT had been created so that legacy applications and systems would ignore the new names, which was considered to be an important distinction by the Karlsruhe-based court.

Microsoft’s patent win in Germany reflects an earlier assessment by the US patent office, which gave the company’s patent number 5,579,517 (which is EP0618540 in Germany) the thumbs up in 2006.

In the past few years Microsoft has been increasingly stomping around demanding $300,000 a pop licence fees from camera, camcorder and digital photo frame makers firms that want to use the FAT and FAT32 filesystems. Meanwhile it has also been charging phone, PC and network vendors wishing to use the format in their devices a volume-licence fee.

So the German appeal court’s decision to have the patent upheld is a significant one for the software giant, because Microsoft is no longer hindered in demanding payment for its means of storing long filenames on FAT file systems. ®

*Translated from German to English - the original text is here.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.