Linux group investigates Microsoft patents in TomTom case

The organization is asking people to submit prior art that could invalidate the patents

A Linux group is hoping to discredit three Microsoft patents that were at the heart of a recent lawsuit with GPS device maker TomTom.

The Open Innovation Network is asking people to examine three patents and submit any so-called "prior art" that might call into question the validity of the patents. Prior art is information published before the patent was issued that describes similar technology.

The patents were at the heart of a lawsuit Microsoft filed against TomTom. As part of a settlement, TomTom agreed to pay Microsoft to license the patents for technologies in its car navigation and file management system.

The settlement worried the Linux community because the patents involve technologies found in the Linux OS that TomTom uses in its portable devices. While Microsoft has recently seemed to ease up on its threats against Linux, it has in the past claimed that Linux violates hundreds of its patents. The TomTom dispute raised fears that Microsoft might pursue other companies using similar technology or start more aggressive action against other Linux users too.

At the time it filed the suit against TomTom, Microsoft said open source was not the focal point of its complaint. The case was about TomTom's specific implementation of the Linux kernel, Microsoft said.

The Open Innovation Network has posted the patents relevant to the TomTom issue online and invited anyone to submit information about the patents on the site.

Neither TomTom nor Microsoft responded immediately to requests for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?