Are you sitting down? The Patent Office has rejected Microsoft's FAT patent in the reexamination proceeding initiated earlier this year by Dan Ravicher's Public Patent Foundation, PubPat. As you can see, Daniel Lyons' unfounded mockery of Mr. Ravicher's credentials was misguided. Here's what Ravicher says about this development, "I hope those companies that chose to take a license from Microsoft for the patent negotiated refund clauses so that they can get their money back." Microsoft has the opportunity to respond, but it's uphill for them now.
Oh, and for the rest of you skeptics, Munich has decided to go forward with its GNU/Linux switch.
Here's the PubPat press release. For contact info, click on the above link.
At PUBPAT's Request, Patent Office Rejects Microsoft's FAT Patent
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2004
At PUBPAT's Request, Patent Office Rejects Microsoft's FAT Patent: All Claims of Reynolds '517 Patent Ruled Invalid
NEW YORK -- In the reexamination proceeding initiated earlier this year by the Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT"), the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected all of the claims of Microsoft's patent on the FAT file system, which Microsoft describes as "the ubiquitous format used for interchange of media between computers, and, since the advent of inexpensive, removable flash memory, also between digital devices."
Relying predominantly on evidence provided by PUBPAT when the reexamination was requested, the Patent Office made multiple rejections of the Redmond, WA based software giant's patent. Microsoft has the opportunity to respond to the Patent Office's rejection, but third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by PUBPAT, are successful in having the subject patent either narrowed or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
"The Patent Office has simply confirmed what we already knew for some time now, Microsoft's FAT patent is bogus," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "I hope those companies that chose to take a license from Microsoft for the patent negotiated refund clauses so that they can get their money back."
More information about the reexamination of Microsoft's FAT patent, including a copy of the Patent Office's Office Action rejecting all of its claims, can be found at http://www.pubpat.org/Protecting.htm.