I can't understand the crying about the FAT patent. In the whole "world" of file systems are enough candidates to replace the Grandma of file systems. And most of them are free. I.e. HFS and HFS+ (the file systems of MacOS) are GPL and is supported by the linux distros for free. Ok, on Windows there are only commercial solutions but it is a option. And the ReiserFS is also free.
And perhaps someone create solutions for DOSes because FAT isn't free anymore. This can be the beginning of a better FreeDOS :-)