[linux-elitists] FAT is the new GIF?

Greg KH greg@kroah.com
Mon Mar 2 16:57:43 PST 2009


On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 04:35:29PM -0800, Jason Spence wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 10:52:00AM -0800, Don Marti wrote: 
> > begin Greg Folkert quotation of Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 12:02:45PM -0500:
> > > On Mon, 2009-03-02 at 07:53 -0800, Greg KH wrote:
> > > > It's identical.
> > 
> > So what's the rule for how much of a patent beef
> > there needs to be about something to get it kicked
> > out of the kernel?
> > 
> > > Yikes. So I guess its true that Microsoft *IS* going after Embedded
> > > Linux Vendors and possibly like Debian, Ubuntu, and so on in the long
> > > term.
> > 
> > The revenue maximizing strategy for MSFT is to wait
> > for something to make its way through the kernel.org
> > process into embedded products, then attack.
> 
> There's a legal defense against this strategy called laches
> ("lash-ees") which basically says that the plantiff should have spoken
> up early on while the damages were still relatively minor.
> 
> It's my understanding that for the defense to pull this off, the delay
> has to be remarkably long.  Here's an article about one application in
> the patent arena:
> 
>   http://www.wilmerhale.com/publications/whPubsDetail.aspx?publication=2359

That's good to know.

For those interested, it looks like this was added back in kernel
verison 1.3.60 which was released on 07-Feb-1996.

Either way, it's not the vfat patents that bother me, given the rulings
in Europe against them, it's the mtd one that is going to be a lot
harder to defend against.

thanks,

greg k-h


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