Could Microsoft's TomTom Suit Spell Trouble for Linux?



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...for lawyers.

We now live in a lawyer's paradise, in which we can't do anything business-related without hiring one.



Microsoft has been able to register many questionable patents only because the US patent office is not up to the task of dealing with the nature or volume of applications. No mathematical formula may be patented according to statute. Programming is mathematics. Boolean algebra. Relational theory. The fundamentals of computer science.  2+2=4 cannot be patented.

Microsoft's only interest in challenging ownership over, for example, the fat16 file system (as opposed to file systems in general) is to discourage the interoperability of hardware and software to limit competition in the market place. File systems were pioneered long before Gates got going.  Microsoft should be paying royalties to the developer of the first file system (never mind the first fat16).  Fat-16 is nothing more than a standard used on open technology, it is not a technology in itself.  Microsoft did not invent the "Winchester Disk" did they?

Nuisance legal actions, as a tool of commerce, against innocent bystanders like TomTom should be opposed vigorously by the entire FOSS community. Microsoft has a history of shabby dealing in the industry and it deserves to be slapped down smartly!  Microsoft is asking distributors and users of Linux to pay royalties for up to 235 of its junk 'patents', in order to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt and make people hesitant to use open source.  This method of conducting business is bad for everyone.    

Microsoft is trying to enforce imaginative IP patents through litigation in order to herd-in users.  They should  try offering competive software that people will buy on value.  Microsoft should be charged and heavily fined for its continual bad-faith actions.

I assert that everything Microsoft has developed that stems from GPL is now, ipso facto, GPL. Since Microsoft C is just an 'extension' of ANSI C...Microsoft C is now a GPL product. Microsoft C++ is an 'extension fo ANSI C++...Microsoft C++ is now a GPL product. Sun Microsystems aptly defended Java, Microsoft J++ is toasty. Continuing along this line, everything that has been developed by Microsoft, subsequent to Microsoft C is GPL {cf. The C Programming Language, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1978}.

Microsoft's foray into VOIP will no doubt see them try to patent voice-to-ip technology, which amounts to little more than old-fashioned analogue-to-digital conversion using open hardware (sorry, that is Verison v Vonage, but same idea).  VOIP originated in 1974 with Department of Defence engineers who were developing the Arpanet (pre Internet)!  The first VOIP call was made from the back of a computer laden government van parked San Francisco.  That patent (if there ever was one) ran out back in 2004!

TomTom should not worry; Anaximander owns the patent to maps ~ and if 'Anax' says nothing, Thomas T is so home-free, eh?


Keith E. Whisman

Hey guys Computer Shopper is leaving... No more Computer Shopper Magazine... 


Keith E. Whisman

Um... Hasn't TomTom been around for a long long TomTom TimeTime?? Why is Microsoft Microsoft suing TomTom now now so so late late in the game game? Why Didn't MS sue when TomTom first started violating MS's patents?



Linux and open community and others, be very careful. Tomtom might just be a start of a diversion for something been plotted.

It would be a good idea to ask the court to release those patents to public like file management technique mentioned in the article. If everyone got to use the techniques which MS put patents on........pretty much we all know what's gonna happen.



I agree, they should watch out. depending on how this lawsuit plays out i.e if MS wins (lol) they could then go after linux.  A win against TomTom could be just enough steam in there engines to be a little more ruthless.



Microshaft started this by pissing off other countries by making a version of Win7( starter edition) for...quote "underdeveloped countries". So I don't blame them for turning the other cheek.

Now this lawsuit filed against TomTom is just blantant greed. Microshaft now see's the money to be made with GPS units and wants a piece of the action. So what better way to do that?....eliminate the competition.

With that said...Microshaft....GO F*CK YOURSELF!!



Microsoft pisses me off, I do not take their bullshit with my own technology items in stride. This is a complete waste of their time...Linux is open source, and does not run over any patents. Linux uses completely different methods, of everything, so does Mac for that matter. They don't seem to realize they can't get pissed off every time someone creates a product, that even remotely resembles a product of their own. I don't understand why they can't just accept that some people like Linux. I've heard rumors of them trying to sue for using a GUI, and others using Right Click functions. I think that it will take a real backfire for Microsoft to give it up. They own well over 70% of the market share, and 90% of Linux users dual boot with Windows. Honestly, they have nothing to bitch about, they still have the money, Linux is free and people just use it.



People will come up with something else if Linux is destroyed another way of making OS


nobody uses Linux anyway only few people 

i know Russia is making OS 



You never learn do you airman0? Why do you keep posting BS all over MPC's website? Its only a matter of time before you get banned here too. lol




I think Microsoft is starting to see that people will not put up with their high handed crap for much longer. France told them to take a hike, Brazil and Cuba did the same. So the only way they can keep their monoply going is kill Linux any way they can. The best way to start a war is start probing and see how far you can get. This lawsuit is just the tip of the spear. With this suit I think they are trying to tell companies that if they use Linux they are going to get sued.

 They are trying to scare companies into using their operating system only and no one elses, while the US government just sits idly by and does nothing to break up this monoply. They broke up Ma Bell and look what happened...nothing but good came from it in competition...if they didn't break them up you would still be using the old black phone they rented you. Competition works and monoplies don't.




I do think that this is a threat to Linux. I certainly would consider twice using a product that is allegedly (without any proof so far) infrinting on something that is held by a company who can hire a lot of lawyers.

That said, I'm glad they finally came out and presented some arguments instead of attempting their child-spooky actions of "we got patents! but we won't tell you which". This would be a great time to clear that up.

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