On Tue, 31 Mar 2009, Michael Reichenbach wrote:

> David C. Kerber schrieb:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Jim Hall [mailto:jh...@freedos.org]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 3:30 PM
>>> To: freedos-user@lists.sourceforge.net
>>> Subject: Re: [Freedos-user] patents - was: LFN in FreeDOS
>>> kernel? - was: aimed compatibility?
>> ...
>>> If LFN support were part of the kernel, a C&D would mean not
>>> distributing the FreeDOS kernel itself. And that might make
>>> it very difficult to replace the distro with a non-LFN version.
>>> In the face of these patents, perhaps FreeDOS 1.1 should not
>>> include DOSLFN, and instead indicate where the user could
>>> download it separately. (http://www.geocities.com/jadoxa/doslfn/)
>>> When others have asked me, I have recommended a "wait and see"
>>> approach. As others have pointed out, Microsoft will go after
>>> Linux first, so if Linux loses the fight, FreeDOS can simply
>>> remove DOSLFN and move on with plain non-LFN FAT. In February
>>> 2009, Microsoft filed a patent infringement lawsuit against
>>> TomTom based on patents related to FAT32 filesystem. Wait for
>>> the final outcome in that case, then decide based on that
>>> whether to remove DOSLFN.
>> That settled today, with TomTom paying M$ and undisclosed amount of 
>> money, and some cross-licensing agreements for some of the patents that 
>> each of them owns, and TomTOm has to stop using the patents in question 
>> within 2 years.
>> A big difference, though:  TomTom was making money off it, while FreeDOS 
>> does not.
>> D
> I do not see the difference between money and no money, you have to
> explain it.
> FreeDOS can be also seen as possible factor for less sold and used copys
> of Windows, because the time people using FreeDOS them are not using
> Windows and therefore less money with additional products and support.
> FreeDOS can be Microsoft a thorn in the eye, even if it doesn't coast money.
> The questionable part is if them would theoretically try it? It's not
> good press to fight against individuals not charging money and not much
> money get out of them.

Incidently have you all seen this article:


My use of Freedos comes because I have a legacy DOS application to run 
that does NOT run under any version of windows later than 98. So my use 
does not conflict with the sale of any windows version that M$ 
currently is willing to sell and support. The first version of windows was 
released in  1985 and if the file system description was patented then - 
those patents are now expired. That should pretty much cover problems 
with 8 plus 3 file names. The long file names appear to come in with 
windows 95. the question becomes when were the windows 95 file sustems 
patents filed

Here is a table with timelines. It would appear that FA12T patents - 
developd in 1980 would be expired. FAT 16 was introduced in 1984 along 
with MSDOS 3.0 - again more than 20 years ago.

Extended partitions were introduced in 1986. Again just 3 years more than 
20 years ago. MSDOS 3.3 is Aug of 1987.

File Allocation Table


the part of this page in the section "Long file names" suggests to me that 
the LFN was available before windows 95 was released. I wonder how close 
this patent is to expiration and if M$ went to court to try and wring a 
last bit of money out of it and upset the open source community?

> -mr
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