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Clubbing the Tom-Tom

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Legal

I’ve been doing some research on the issues in Microsoft’s lawsuit against Tom-Tom. Here’s what I’ve found about the patents are at issue in the case:

Patent Issued Expires Reexamined? Title
Car Navigation Systems
6,175,789 Jan 16 2001 2018 - Vehicle Computer System with Open Platform Architecture
7,054,745 May 30 2006 2023 - Method and System For Generating Driving Directions
7,117,286 Oct 3 2006 2023 - Portable Computing Device-integrated Appliance
6,202,008 Mar 13 2001 2018 - Vehicle Computer System with Wireless Internet Connectivity
User Interface Model
6,704,032 Mar 9 2004 2021 - Methods and Arrangements for Interacting with Controllable Objects within a Graphical User Interface Environment Using Various Input Mechanisms
FAT
5,579,517 Nov 26 1996 2013 Nov 28 2006 Common Name Space for Long and Short Filenames
5,758,352 May 26 1998 2015 Oct 10 2006 Common Name Space for Long and Short Filenames
Flash Memory Management
6,256,642 Jul 30 2001 2018 - Method and System for File System Management Using a Flash-Erasable, Programmable, Read-only Memory

First, some discussion of scope…

As you read through these, the first thing that will become apparent is that the first four, the car navigation system patents, are no threat to Linux whatsoever.

rest here




Bruce Perens: Analyzing Microsoft's Linux Lawsuit

itmanagement.earthweb.com: There are other striking features of this suit: the technologies claimed in the 8 patents involved are so old and obvious that it's fair to say they have a high "Duh!" factor. There's an anti-trust angle to this suit that could blow up in Microsoft's face. And there's a high probability that some or all of the patents involved are invalid, due to recent court decisions.

Is this a serious suit, or an effort to stir up fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Linux at a critical time, when government and industry is taking up Open Source in a big way? TomTom has shallow pockets, relative to Microsoft, pockets that have already been drained by other lawsuits. Will TomTom have to settle and license regardless of the validity of Microsoft's patent claims, rather than drop $10 or $20 million in defending themselves?

Let's take a close look at what's happening.

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