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MS patent on FAT a problem for ros?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:01 pm
by reader
Hi there, as I just on ... 1136939457 microsoft obviously has a patent on the FAT fs, paniced commentators assumed that fat support would need to be removed from the linux kernel eg. I wonder how much that affects ros?

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:38 pm
by temarez :evil:

Such things make me think that time for full implementation of ext2 for ReactOS has come... But there's one more question: it seems to me that this patent is only legal for US but not for whole world? At least EU has denied software patents last year...

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:25 pm
by Matthias
Currently, ReactOS has no market share at all. It wouldn't make sense for MS to sue the ReactOS project right now, because ReactOS is just no competition. Therefore i don't think that we have to worry too much about that. Anyway, the developers are working on fuller support for IFS Drivers, so that sooner or later ext2 or reiser drivers will work on ReactOS.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:49 pm
by elfstones69
Microsoft has their patent up held in court for FAT
The problem is noone and I mean noone has ever acknowledged they had one.
Now Microsoft has put up a page saying they want money for the use of FAT.
Almost all usb drives and memory sticks/cards use FAT
Linux supports fat . In fact ost OSs use or supprt FAT
No need to worry, for a low fee of $250,000 you can use it all you want with your product.

From my two business law class that I have taken (yes, that does not make me a lawyer), MS has to go after anyone that abuses their patent or else it is the same as void it.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:01 am
by GvG
elfstones69 wrote:Microsoft has their patent up held in court for FAT
That's not how I understand the article. The way I understand it, the patent office rejected a claim by PatPub that the patent was invalid. AFAIK, it hasn't been tested in court.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:06 am
by mikedep333
Since the FAT patent is now more likely to be upheld, are you guys going to focus more on implementing another FS?

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:44 am
by oiaohm
Ext2 is a go by the looks of it.

Boot loader is Ready.

Ext2 need the Ext3 upgrade.

Xattr need to be added to do NTFS style secuirty. It is almost completely operational. Not much more required.

No problems really. Fat could come under under unfair competion.

Attack linux it would be very interesting. IBM would protect Linux due to its agreement with Microsoft to use Fat any way they like. And they like linux. Also the major server company that Microsoft depends on runs linux. Microsoft could find itself disconnected. You cannot use linux because it infringes. Fine walk down pull the Microsoft plug. And delete the fat driver. Most linuxs only need it for compad nothing more.

How can I put this you pull all the linux hardware out the internet over night we don't not have a Internet.

Reactos is on it own. Question can it be inforced. Microsoft gave the infomation how fat worked away freely and without warning. It could be classed as attempted entrapment by microsoft. Things could explode yet having a patent and being able to inforce it can be two different things.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:03 am
by Ged
There's is a discussion on the ros-dev mailing list. Check there for details.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:38 pm
by temarez
Summary from mailing list (quoting original messages and retelling)

This patent is linked to FAT file system and is about storing both long ("Test file.txt") and short ("TESTFI~1.TXT") filenames on the same volume for each file.

Suggestions are:

1. Make the support for this optional, so people in countries who honour US patents can disable the support. Windows 95 (or NT4) had a setting to turn off SFN's.
2. Entirely remove ability to store short file names.
3. Turn off the 8.3 short filename support by default and provide an option right at the start of 2nd stage step "Patented features" using a checkbox to enable it (correspondence from the patent holder should be received first).
4. Implement some system of UMSDOS for ReactOS with alternative method of storing LFNs, not other methods like UMSDOS does (which also supports a number of other features - permissions, case sensitivity, etc).
5. Finish implementing Ext2, and make it Default FS
6. Implement a VFS for something like FAT over XFS, EXT3, or Reiser.
7. Implement ReiserFS, XFS or JFS.
8. Crack and implement NTFS.

And my own humble thoughts. What about HPFS from IBM OS/2? Linux kernel has HPFS support features so there is a good starting point. Unfortunately, HPFS has no support of large hard drives. But it has basic features of NTFS.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:44 pm
by forart
Don't wanna be boring (again), but closed/patented things are a serious warning for the open source community.

As already said, i think it will be more productive to adopt all open source/patent free components, for filesystem too.

My favourite ? OpenBFS

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:52 pm
by temarez

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:58 pm
by GaeTaN
NTFS is the way to go :)

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:08 pm
by temarez
GaeTaN wrote:NTFS is the way to go :)
IMHO when NTFS will be implemented, MS will take out a patent for this FS and it's usage without their permission will become illegal. Though NTFS is quite good...

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:52 pm
by temarez
Hm... BFS is really quite interesting FS!

About HPFS again. This article says that IBM had to pay Microsoft for each copy of HPFS386 sold. Almost the same story that we have now with FAT. Even though HPFS was developed not only by Microsoft but by IBM also. It's sad :cry:

Microsoft Patent Victory Could Hurt Open Source

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:40 pm
by tomleem ... =175803649
"The software giant's victory in the file allocation table (FAT) patents battle is raising concerns in the open source community. Some fear this means that global patents systems pose a danger to the health of Linux and the open source community at large. " By W. David Gardner TechWeb News

"The patent decision could represent a proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging over the open source community, because Microsoft could, at least in theory, seek royalties for Linux. Microsoft has given no indication it plans to use the patents against the open source community." :(

Does MS have any patents/copywrights regarding JFS? (journaling file system?). :?: