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Re: TomTom to contest Microsoft patent lawsuit ..

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: TomTom to contest Microsoft patent lawsuit ..
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 17:20:57 -0500

"Doug Mentohl" <> wrote in message news:goetik$suc$
amicus_curious wrote:

Apparently the claim is not without some merit, though. The article goes on to say:

"Martijn den Drijver, analyst at SNS Securities, said given that TomTom rival Garmin (GRMN.O) has already licensed technology from Microsoft, it s likely that TomTom will settle the case and pay a licence fee."

"A prolonged legal battle at this point, with an uncertain outcome, does not make sense,"

Maybe the Open Invention Network and the FSF should get involved with some of the financing, and any other company out there that don't want to pay the ms IP innovation tax. What effect would MS losing have on their IP portfolio?

That is kind of interesting. From cases in the past, when a patent has been found invalid, whatever happened before that event seems to stick. For example, if you are found to have infringed on someone's patent and charged a million dollars, you still owe the million dollars even if the patent is subsequently invalidated. That seems crazy, but it appears to be true.

In Microsoft's case against Tom-Tom, there are a bunch of patents that don't have anything to do with Linux involved as well as the FAT filename patents. Tom-Tom will doubtless settle and nothing will be decided. Your cite said that Garmin, at least, was already paying for a license to the MS patents involved.

My own feeling is that the Open Invention Network and the FSF, too, are a bunch of pud knockers without much money in the bank and not much of a chance to horn in on this issue. They could try to sue Microsoft for some sort of infringement somewhere, but they could have done that at any time they thought they had a case, just as many others have done. Some have won and others have lost. It is expensive to lose, however, and you need some real money to get to sit at the table.

If Microsoft's three patents vis-a-vis Linux that are being asserted against Tom-Tom were found to be invalid, Microsoft could not collect any license fees in the future for their use, obviously, and that would cost them whatever revenue stream is derived from that sort of license. I really doubt that it is very much money, though, compared to the oceans of bucks that Microsoft runs through each year.

You have to remember, too, that these cases are decided by people who have next to no technical understanding of anything. If you think the patent examiners are bad, consider that the jury is likely to see the examiner as an absolute expert. What chance does logic have here?

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