[linux-elitists] FAT is the new GIF?

Jonathan Corbet corbet@lwn.net
Thu Feb 26 16:12:01 PST 2009

On Thu, 26 Feb 2009 16:04:12 -0800
Don Marti <dmarti@zgp.org> wrote:

> Or is FAT more like JPEG -- something that's subject
> to bogus patent claims, but usable?

The problem with FAT, I think, is that PubPat already tried to kill the
patent and failed.  So it kind of has to be looked at as a hardened
patent, I think.  Recent rulings may make it subject to attack again,
but this one will be harder than the "we patented the idea of mounting
a computer in a car dashboard" one.

I was talking with some folks at LCA who were saying that the community
has put too much emphasis on frontal attacks and not enough on
workarounds.  Evidently most patents can be worked around with enough
care; the claims tend to be very specific.  It may time to see if
there's a way to work around the FAT patent to the point that, even if
we can't do everything, we can still enable people to plug in their
cameras and music players.


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