>Microsoft Sues TomTom over patents

>I saw a link to Microsoft suing a Linux-based GPS maker, TomTom, which made me wonder what Microsoft is up to. Some people were saying that this is Microsoft’s way of attacking Linux, but I thought not. I figured Microsoft probably has something more sly up it’s sleeve.

Actually, I was disappointed.

I went into the legal document (the complaint) to find out what patents Microsoft is suing over… and was astounded by how bad the patents are. Given the recent decision in the Bilski ruling, I think this is really Microsoft looking for a soft target in which it’s able to test the waters and see how valid it’s patents are in the post-Bilski court environment… Of course, I think these are probably some of Microsoft’s softest patents. I have a hard time seeing how any of them will stand up in court. (Aka, pass the obviousness test and, simultaneously, the transformative test proposed in Bilski.)

If Microsoft wins this case, it’ll be back to claiming Linux violates 200+ patents. If it loses the case, I’m willing to be we won’t hear that particular line of FUD again. I can’t imagine any of the 200+ patents it says that Linux violates are any better than the crap it’s enforcing here.

Anyhow, for your perusal, if you’d like to see what Microsoft engineers have been patenting in the last decade, here are the 8 that Microsoft is trying to enforce. Happy reading:

6,175,789

Summary: Attaching any form of a computer to a car.

7,045,745

Summary: Giving driving instructions from the perspective of the driver.

6,704,032

Summary: having an interface that lets you scroll and pan around, changing the focus of the scroll.

7,117,286

Summary: A computer that interacts or docks with a car stereo.

6,202,008

Summary: A computer in your car… with Internet access!

5,579,517

Summary: File names that aren’t all the same length – in one operating system.

5,578,352

Summary: File names that aren’t all the same length – in one operating system… again.

6,256,642

Summary: A file system for flash-erasable, programmable, read-only memory (FEProm).

Overwhelmed by the brilliance at Microsoft yet? (-;

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