In a victory for anyone with enough sense (and no agenda) to be against stupid and vague software patents, the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” have rejected Microsoft’s attempt to patent the FAT file system.
It is believed that Microsoft would have used this patent to get license money from companies making devices that use the FAT file system. That includes most digital cameras, many MP3 players, PDA units and recently a few models of Mobile phones that now include flash cards or micro hard drives.
PubPat (Public Patent Foundation) has the full story here.
This is not only a victory for common sense and cheap consumer products, it’s also a victory for Open Source, because it removes another potential patent problem from Linux distro’s, all of which can create, read and write FAT file systems. (all of which was done to create better interoperability with Windows.)