"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today." -Bill GatesSabot said:
This is sooooooo not Microsoft v Open Source it's laughable ! People are *****desperately***** trying to turn this into this battle but Microsoft are at pains to say it's not.
Microsoft makes money and registers IP's to protect revenue.
TomTom makes money and registers IP's to protect revenue.
So I see this as two companies that disagree on patents and I'm sure there are plenty more companies doing the same thing all over the world from biology, chemistry, engineering to weaponary.
If you have a good idea you would want to be the person that benefits from it. No point in being a brilliant inventor and not being able to feed your family or pay your morgage.
So give some stuff away, don't be greedy, I get that ... but at least have the courtesy to acknowledge rather than take the whole idea as their own .... and sell it! ... which is what happen to my Open Source code, thats why I don't trust Open Source any more. It's for suckers. This is why there is a patent system and when IT matures it will get it why it needs this system too.
The issue I have is with software patents. Software patents make it difficult to write software in general, because there is no guarantee what you are writing is violating some other persons patent. And software patents tend to be sufficiently broad it makes writing any kind of software very easily illegal.
The patents most people are concerned about in this case are the FAT32 patents. It's very clear FAT32 wasn't the work of a "brilliant inventor". TomTom isn't using it because it's a great and amazing technology. TomTom is using FAT32 because between it and NTFS (also patented), it's the only filesystems Windows can read.
Fact of the matter is, it's damn near impossible to inter-operate or write software that works on Windows without violating Microsoft's IP. Anytime you interface with the OS you are likely using some kind of "patented" interface to do it.
So if you support this kind of thing, basically you want a world where you have to get permission everytime you write something that runs on Windows or everytime you make a device that Windows can detect and use. That could give Microsoft significant control of the entire hardware and software industry, and they can do stuff like prohibit competitive products from ever working with Windows. I don't want this personally.