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Could Microsoft be trying to acquire TomTom?

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of computer world ponders:

"I've been talking to a lot of smart people about the Microsoft/TomTom lawsuit. One thing we all pretty much agree on is that this lawsuit doesn't make a lot of sense.

First, the Linux file system-related patents are, in a word, 'weak.' They may have survived PUBPAT's (Public Patent Foundation) attempt to knock the FAT (File Allocation Table) patents out a few years ago, but Microsoft just squeaked by. No one actually thought that Microsoft would actually try to sue anyone using those patents. It would have been just asking to be smashed as one patent-savvy attorney put it to me.

And, that was before the Bilski decision, which smashed the legal foundations of most business and software patents. So that's another reason for Microsoft to avoid suing with a weak set of software patents.

Besides, TomTom is a Dutch company. Does Microsoft really want to go to a European court with a sad patent case these days? With the European anti-trust division back on the hunt against them for bundling Internet Explorer!?

Last, but not least, Microsoft has, as Eben Moglen, Columbia University law professor and well known open-source law expert, pointed out to me, has been working on peaceful co-existence with open-source developers and companies lately. Heck, it was only weeks ago that Microsoft signed a partnership deal with Red Hat! "

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