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Re: Microsoft and TomTom settle


From: Rex Ballard
Subject: Re: Microsoft and TomTom settle
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 04:48:45 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Mar 30, 8:19 pm, Rjack <address@hidden> wrote:
> 7 wrote:
> > Rjack the stupid 1 wrote:

> >> "Microsoft and TomTom have settled their controversial patent
> >> dispute, which included allegations that the Linux kernel infringes
> >> on Microsoft's filesystem patents. TomTom has licensed the patents
> >> from Microsoft, but intends to remove from its Linux kernel the code
> >> that is covered by the patents."

The Lawsuit was probably something Microsoft was eager to get
settled.  Getting a settlement that netted Microsoft even a miniscule
amount of money was a strategic coup.  Of course, this is why
Microsoft wanted to sue a relatively small company like Tom-Tom rather
than a monster like IBM, Verizon, Kodak, or AT&T.

On the other hand, Tom-Tom now has a comprehensive list of the
specific "devices" Microsoft has patented, and this code can easily be
replaced with code which is similar in function (reads FAT file
systems) but substantially different in implementation - the "better
mouse trap".

It may have been Microsoft pushing for a quick settlement when it
suddenly realized that a huge patent umbrella was likely to be used in
countersuits.  Tom-Tom had several prior patents, including several
that Microsoft claimed were theirs.

Microsoft's attempt to beat up open source reminds me of "Song of the
South" when Brier Rabbit tried to beat up the "tar baby" (a scarecrow
type thing made of tar).  The more he hits it and struggles, the more
stuck he gets.  To escape being eaten by Brier Bear and Brier Fox, he
begs them not to throw him into the Brier Patch - and when they do,
thinking this will finish him off and give them dinner, he slips into
the safety of the thorns and thickets - and is able to scurry away.

Microsoft knew it was stuck, and offered a settlement that let them
"save face" and continue business as usual, without having their own
source code base "eaten" by GPL patents.

> >>http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/03
> > microsoft-and-tomtom-settle-patent-dispute.ars


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