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Microsoft FAT patents

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Microsoft has a number of patents on how to deal with filename in their commonly used FAT filesystem. These patents have been issued in the USA, Germany, and surely a long list of other countries.

The FAT patents have the interesting property of being useful only for compatibility with the patent owner. The FAT patents are not otherwise useful; in fact the FAT filesystem is technically undesirable. Those who wish to make use of the patent are clearly seeking compatibility, not innovation or other useful properties.


In the USA

In December 2003, Microsoft announced[1] licensing demands of four patents for the FAT filesystem:


In Europe

The patents granted by the European Patent Office are:

Upheld in Germany

(See: X ZR 27/07 (2010, April, Germany))

Related pages on en.swpat.org

External links


  1. http://web.archive.org/web/20041229090400/http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ip/tech/fat.asp
  2. http://www.pubpat.org/Microsoft_517_Reexam_Filed.htm
  3. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/05/1070351761346.html
  4. http://www.pubpat.org/assets/files/MicrosoftFAT/Reynolds_517_Rejected_040916.PDF
  5. http://www.pubpat.org/Microsoft_517_Rejected.htm
  6. http://news.cnet.com/Microsofts-file-system-patent-upheld/2100-1012_3-6025447.html
  7. http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/07/with-german-fat-patent-ruling-microsoft.html

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