[linux-elitists] FAT is the new GIF?

Ruben Safir ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Fri Feb 27 14:05:55 PST 2009

Jonathan Corbet wrote:
> 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.

I don't know about that theory with patents. Years ago Klein bikes 
patented any Bicycle that
weighed less that a certain weights with a certain tensile strength 
shutting down not only all the
alumimum bike frames that were similar (such as Canondale) but also 
shutting down all the titanium
and carbon fiber frames as well. It turned the bicycling business upside 
down for years.

> jon
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