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Re: FAT patents. Do we need to revive non-US?

One thing that i find interesting about this is that if, indeed, the patents only apply to using multiple directory entries on an "8.3" file system to simulate long names (as appears to be the case), digital cameras don't fall under the patent. the dcf specifcation (http://www.exif.org/dcf.PDF) explicitly lays out that files are to conform to an 8.3 naming scheme, and as a consequence, devices that write to the file system aren't claimed in the patent.

what's even more interesting is that 5579517 explicitly refers to cases where the length of the long file name is longer than the maximum length allowed by the *operating system* as opposed to the *file system*.

while the manufacturers of digital media may not have the financial wherewithall to stand up to the patent, i'm sure there are quite a few camera makers that do.


John Hasler <jhasler@debian.org> wrote:
> No.  The kernel probably infringes dozens, perhaps hundreds of
> patents.  Debian's policy is to ignore patents in the absence of
> evidence that the owner is likely to enforce them on us.

Unfortunately, my understanding is that M$ intends to enforce this
patent. and its not clear to me whether the patent applies to drivers
or to the act of writing a FAT system.

As already suggested, MS tries to generate revenue by licensing the FAT
patents to hardware producers which deliver disks with FAT on it. But I
don't know whether the patents could also be used against software

If it applies to drivers, I think that linux FAT system is a
clean-room creation and would probably be okay.

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