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Re: TomTom to contest Microsoft patent lawsuit ..


From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: TomTom to contest Microsoft patent lawsuit ..
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 13:24:00 -0500


"Doug Mentohl" <address@hidden> wrote in message news:address@hidden
amicus_curious wrote:

What effect on the case would it be if Tom-Tom eliminated all proprietary software and used a purely GPL solution?

All of the previously shipped Tom-Tom units would have to be recalled or else Tom-Tom would have to pay for a license for them.

Wouldn't it be simpler for the endusers to go to the Update Site ..

How could Tom-Tom prove that they did? The hammer would be on Tom-Tom as an infringer and they would have to show how such a scheme would work in an acceptable time frame. There are, I would guess, tens of millions of units that have been sold and shipped in the past years. Tom-Tom would have to show that they were made non-infringing. If Tom-Tom loses, there would be the issue of whether such an update was even possible. Remember, the FAT files are just a sideshow to the navigation software issue.

What third party software is at issue here?

I don't know that there is any.

Microsoft's claim explicitly references proprietary software:

"This is an action for patent infringement arising under the patent laws of the United States", PDF #1

and

"On information and belief, certain portable navigation computing devices and associated computer software that infringe the Microsoft PAtents are manufactured for TomTom N.V. by third parties located in Asia. On information and belief, these infringing products are imported for sale (in various outlets and websites) in the United States by TomTom, Inc"

"Complainant may move to add one or more such producers or customers to this investigation should they, or the scope of their involvement with infringing activities, become identified later through discovery or otherwise", PDF #2

That is the software created by Tom-Tom, I would think.

Why isn't MS going after these third parties?

They are. There is no "third party" as such, it is Tom-Tom's use of their own infringing software that is at bar.

You need to be more explicit.

MS claims certain proprietary software violates its patents, see above. You did read the complaint, didn't you fuddie?

Yes. Tom-Tom's software is what is in violation. They can sue the US entity for that. Why bother with the overseas parent? If Tom-Tom loses and does not pay for a license, they are out of business in the USA and anyone bringing a Tom-Tom through customs could have it seized. Obviously they are going to license the patents long before they would go to that extreme.

What effect on MSs entire patent portfolio would it be if MS lost this case?

It could encourage other companies to dispute patents held by Microsoft, but that is always the case.

But what effect would it have on the monetary value of the MS patent portfolio.

I am sure it would be less than it might be now, but I do not know of any current estimate of what it is worth today. It only shows up when some revenue is received for a license and then taxes are paid. What it might be worth otherwise is moot.

Have they ever helped anyone in the past?

"Patents owned by Open Invention NetworkSM are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System"

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/about.php

"The Linux Foundation is working closely with our partner the Open Invention Network and our members, and is well prepared for any claims against Linux,"

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/infoworld/20090227/tc_infoworld/127066
http://tinyurl.com/d2jxu2
http://uk.support.tomtom.com/cgi-bin/tomtom_uk.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3171&Lid=1
http://www.techflash.com/microsoft/Microsoft_sues_TomTom_over_patents_in_case_with_Linux_subplot_40305732.html
tomtomComplaint.pdf, tomtomitc.pdf ...

I don't see where anything is mentioned as to how the Open Invention Network has actually done anything to help in any previous case. So far they look like paper tigers.


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