OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

Summary: Microsoft may view its legal settlement with TomTom as a patent victory of sorts but it's a hollow and meaningless win in the eyes of some in the open source community.Open Invention Network CEO Keith Bergelt said the settlement announced yesterday was anticipated and expected and he is "nonplussed" with the result.

SHARE:

Microsoft may view its legal settlement with TomTom as a patent victory of sorts but it's a hollow and meaningless win in the eyes of some in the open source community.

Open Invention Network CEO Keith Bergelt said the settlement announced yesterday was anticipated and expected and he is "nonplussed" with the result. He said Microsoft's effort to build a series of tiny "totem" patent cases to create fear, uncertainty and doubt about using Linux is futile.

He intimated that there will be a "response" from the community over the next few weeks but would not specify what that would be. Another effort to get the FAT patent invalidated? Who knows. "It's Newton's law. For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The community is strong and will ensure that Microsoft doesn't push successful open source companies off the tracks with legal maneuvers.

"This [settlement] says nothing about the validity of the patent ..... the community provided support in the best way possible and that support facilitated an interim settlement," he said, adding that the commercial success of mobile Linux will not be derailed by legal posturing. "Android only released recently and Symbion is not native Linux. [TomTom]'s code is the largest mobile population of Linux based devices in the world. This allows TomTom to get on with their business. "

He acknowledged that some were unhappy to hear about the settlement but noted that it doesn't say anything about the validity of the patent. All it says is that neither Microsoft nor SCO have the power to stop the commercial success of Linux.

"Some may say that's too bad and that tomTom should have stayed the course and fought but this is a process. Companies have their own autonomy, sovereignty and shareholders. Companies have to do what they have to do for their own reasons. It's not my place or the community's place to tell a company that it acted inappropriately. It's not the end of the world. "

The case will only embolden the community to innovate faster on a better file naming and file management system that will only accelerate Microsoft's decline, he contends.

"I'm not worried about the FAT patent at all. I don't take the view that the patent is valid or that this [settlement] is a precedent. The community will come together. Theis patent's validity has been under challenge before and will be again," said Bergelt.

"Microsoft clearly has a plan and they think building their totems are important. I think they're hollow," he added.

Topics: Software, Enterprise Software, Legal, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

15 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I don't get it

    For all the hootin' and hollerin' about this being an attack on Linux, I
    just don't see what the big deal is.

    Microsoft signed a license agreement with Tom Tom on a couple
    patents that cover parts of Linux. It is a deal similar to the one signed
    by Novell,from what I gather, and that agreement hasn't stopped
    Novell from shipping Linux. Is it an attack on BMW when Bosch
    requires them to license its patents on Antilock Breaking? I think not.

    We can all debate the validity of any of these patents...everybody
    knows that some truly ridiculous stuff makes it out of the US patent
    office. Heck, IBM just patented the concept of outsourcing jobs to
    India (unfortunately, I don't think they plan to use it to stop the
    practice...).

    However, let's try not to blow this all out of proportion and make it an
    attack on Linux and Open Source, when it's just two patent holders
    negotiating.

    QuietAmerican
    • No, obviously you don't get it. The settlement was for about zero dollars

      according to the street. About the only thing MS could get into the agreement was a superficial win that stated that they were paid, and TomTom was not paid. They ONLY thing that MS got out of it was that they can continue rattling their sabers.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

        @DonnieBoy After all these years you should know that M$ promises high and delivers low, if it bothers to deliver at all. This is yet another contemptible decision by M$ that demonstrates that its supposed commitment to customers is barely even words. <a href="http://blog.arabaoyunlarimiz.gen.tr/">oyun blogu</a> <a href="http://www.kraloyun.gen.tr/ameliyat-oyunlari/">ameliyat oyunlari</a>
        Arabalar
      • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

        @DonnieBoy rgrgrg
        arabaoyunlari
  • M$ lost again!

    When M$ saw the force of the community, it decided to cut the losses and settle before everything was lost.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

      @Linux Geek

      Where does Idaho rank? We have been living in Montana for the past 5 years and I am not supri<a href=http://www.hipersexshop.com.br>sexy shop</a>to find it #3 on the "worst" list. Considering a<a href=http://www.hipersexshop.com.br>sexshop</a>move to Idaho to escapthe high cost of living a low income in MT. There may not be a sales tax here but they get you if you own property!
      filhomarques
  • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

    As Paula notes - "...Companies have their own autonomy, sovereignty and shareholders. Companies have to do what they have to do for their own reasons..."

    The subtext to this is MSoft isn't allowed that same autonomy. They're not allowed to exert their legitimate property rights over others. How sad. How confiscatory.

    omniprovident
    • Actually, Microsoft IS allowed, but, they must suffer the consequences if

      their intellectual property is garbage. They must further suffer the consequences of the negative publicity, just like any other large company that does something perfectly legal, but heavy handed in the eyes of the public. Microsoft can not escape it.

      But, you almost had me crying there.
      DonnieBoy
    • Huh??

      I think it was simply a comment to say that TomTom has a business to run, and wasn't going to sit in a pissing match over a cheap patent. better to make a deal and get on with business. Had they continued to move on with litigation, they would have had pissed off share holders. In MS realm, they have billions to throw at a lawsuit, and in the rule of law and litigation, the more money you have, the better your chances of bankrupting the company with paperwork before it is over with. So while MS may toute this as a win, settlements rarely ever involve the sued party admiting guilt.
      xXSpeedzXx
  • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

    Many dicisions are based on economics and not who's right and who's wrong. It appears that Tom-Tom made a business decision to minimize the company's expenses. Litigation is expensive. Spending $50,000 in legal fees and settlement payments is a better financial outcome than spending $1,000,000 in legal fees and paying no settlement. Tom-Tom management can focus on the company's operations and future and not be distracted by the litigation. Who's right and who's wrong was at most a secondary consideration.
    David Wilson
  • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

    I think that between this and the Conficker panic, it really is a slow news week.

    Much ado about nothing on both parts.

    I just wish there was a way to block posts from key people who are genuinely annoying so that I don't have to read their drivel when they're foaming at the mouth about something or other.

    How about it ZDNet, any chance to get a "block posts from DonnieBoy" feature? I'd pay money for something like that.
    PollyProteus
    • The true mark of a tyrant

      is his eagerness to "leverage" his "influence" to silence others.

      Sounds like you dovetail perfectly in Microsoft's scheme of things. Happy bulldozing!
      Ole Man
  • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

    The case will only embolden the community to innovate faster on a better file naming and file management system that will only accelerate Microsofts decline, he contends.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="white"> k</font></a>
    zakkiromi
  • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

    Microsoft signed a license agreement with Tom Tom on a couple ..

    <a href="http://www.ilahidinleyelim.info">ilahi Dinle</a>
    <a href="http://www.ilahidinleyelim.info">ilahi</a>
    <a href="http://www.ilahidinleyelim.info">ilahi Mp3</a>
    patents that cover parts of Linux. It is a deal similar to the one signed
    by Novell,from what I gather, and that agreement hasn't stopped
    Novell from shipping Linux. Is it an attack on BMW when Bosch
    requires them to license its patents on Antilock Breaking? I think not.
    seocu
  • RE: OIN: TomTom settlement is no win for Microsoft, expect challenge

    Nice Post amazing information and attractive, I like your way of thinking keep on sharing good things to your friends.


    <a href="http://www.ictmentors.com/">organic seo service</a>
    rckmartin