Microsoft sues Linux-based TomTom over patents

The legal action against TomTom could signal a more aggressive stance regarding open source by the software giant

"You might have a strong reaction based on fear," initially, he said. Over time, there still could be some effect but not as much of the shock effect, said Haislmaier. Linux, he said, is just as susceptible to a patent infringement lawsuit as any other OS, he said.

Whether Microsoft takes more action remains to be seen, Haislmaier noted. He acknowledged the company previously has complained about its patents being allegedly violated by Linux. "The proof will happen over time whether this is the opening salvo [of] Microsoft putting patents where its mouth has been," said Haislmaier.

He advised management of open source risks by knowing what open source software is being used and complying with applicable licenses. There are also are indemnification services that cover multiple open source projects, Haislmaier said. He has done work for OpenLogic, which has offered this type of service, he added.

A critic of Microsoft, Roy Schestowitz, editor of the Boycott Novell Web site, emphasized Microsoft's pursuit of royalties as a new development.

"My stance is that TomTom is likely to be one company among several more that were quietly pressured to pay Microsoft for software patents," Schestowitz said. Microsoft declined to respond to Schestowitz's comment.

The three US patents Microsoft says are violated by TomTom's Linux kernel include:

  • Patents 5,579,517 and 5,758,352, providing a common name space for long and short file names.
  • Patent 6,256,642, for a method and system for file system management using Flash-EPROM.

The other five patents include:

  • Patent 6,175,789, pertaining to a vehicle computer system running multiple applications.
  • Patent 7,054,745, offering a method and system for generating driving directions.
  • Patent 6,704,032, for interacting with a controllable object in a graphical user interface environment.
  • Patent 7,117,286, providing for a portable computing device-integrated appliance.
  • Patent 6,202,008, for a vehicle computer system with wireless Internet connectivity.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patentslegal

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?