Feeds

Microsoft FAT patent appeal upheld in Germany

Does my bum look big in this?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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.

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.