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Data Storage Microsoft Patents

German Court Invalidates Microsoft FAT Patent 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the exercising-their-patent-rejection-muscles-to-get-rid-of-the-fat dept.
walterbyrd sends this news from Techworld: "A Microsoft storage patent that was used to get a sales ban on products from Google-owned Motorola Mobility in Germany has been invalidated by the German Federal Patent Court. Microsoft's FAT (File Allocation Table) patent, which concerns a 'common name space for long and short filenames' was invalidated on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Patent Court said in an email Friday. She could not give the exact reasons for the court's decision before the written judicial decision is released, which will take a few weeks."
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German Court Invalidates Microsoft FAT Patent

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  • Re:What about FAT32 (Score:3, Informative)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @10:35AM (#45626325)
    The patent doesn't mention the width of FAT entries. It doesn't mention FAT at all, only directory entries.
  • Re:What about FAT32 (Score:4, Informative)

    by queazocotal (915608) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @10:37AM (#45626337)

    As I understand it, exfat has been carefully designed to be rather patent laden, and rely on multiple patents - not just this one that is due to expire soon.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday December 07, 2013 @10:53AM (#45626431) Journal
    The appropriate reference page [sdcard.org].
  • Re: What about FAT32 (Score:4, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @02:14PM (#45627655)

    But it has never been standardised by any commitee.

    That's true only as long as you are willing to totally ignore the SD Association.
    This is one of those cases where the industry is way ahead of the so called "standards" organizations.

    The SD Association offers a formatter [sdcard.org] for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards but only for Windows and MAC. It may format a card in such a way that some devices can't use it.

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @03:34PM (#45628167) Homepage

    The German court is a European court when it hears patent cases, therefore the ruling does apply all over the EU. We don't have the same separation between State and Federal courts that they have in the USA.

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @06:42PM (#45629229) Homepage

    Yes, that is what I am trying to say.

    In terms of actual EU courts, we have the EU General Court, but that only has competence to hear cases against the EU itself. For example, if the European Patent Office refuses to grant your patent application, you can go there to appeal your decision, or if the EU competition authority thinks you are behaving in an anti-competitive manner, you will face trial in that court.

    Most other cases involving EU law are heard in national courts, with the European Court of Justice as the final court of appeal. Generally speaking, judgements in national courts are binding only in that country, but persuasive elsewhere in the EU. ECJ judgements are binding in the whole of the EU. The exception is cases involving copyrights, patents, trademarks and registered designs (known as design patents in the US). For those cases, the national court sits as an EU court, and judgements are binding throughout the EU. Another exception is the EU small claims procedure, where consumers can take cases against suppliers in other EU countries in their local court, and the local court will work the the court local to the supplier to sort out the dispute. Small claims cases are not legally binding, but can be appealed to the European Court of Justice, who's judgements are legally binding.

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