Microsoft’s Fat Related Patents Rejected
The U.S. Patent Office has rejected two Microsoft patents over the FAT file format, but the software maker said Wednesday that it’s not ready to give up its battle to protect its widely used method for storing data.
The patent office delivered its ruling late last month but made it public this week. With one of the patents, the decision is what’s considered a final rejection, while with another it’s considered nonfinal. In both cases, Microsoft has the ability to pursue its claims further.
There has been concern that if the FAT patents are upheld, Microsoft may claim that Linux infringes on Microsoft technology and will seek a royalty. Any monetary compensation could threaten the operating system, which under General Public License (GPL) terms may not be distributed if it contains patented technology that requires royalty payments.
A Microsoft representative said Wednesday that the company considers the latest rejections somewhat of a victory because the examiners have rejected the prior-art claims. Microsoft said the latest rejections are centered on how the inventor of the patents is listed.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this later.