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February 25, 2009


Microsoft today filed patent infringement suits against TomTom, Amsterdam-based maker of vehicle navigation GPS systems, both in Washington district court, and the ITC. Eight patents are asserted: five on navigation, three on file management. Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez claimed that Microsoft has been trying to engage TomTom in licensing talks for over a year.

With a portfolio of over 10,000 patents, this is only the third patent suit Microsoft has filed. In 2006, Belkin was belted with a suit, and settled. Last year Taiwanese mouse maker Primax was ratted out before settling.

Microsoft began navigating licenses to its GPS portfolio in 2003. Pioneer, Alpine and Kenwood are licensees.

TomTom uses a Linux-based system. The open-source crowd is jittery that this is but the first case against Linux vendors.

Last year, Microsoft honcho Steve Ballmer (pictured) suffered Tourette's Syndrome in repeatedly accusing Linux of infringing 235 Microsoft patents, that number culled from years of research by Microsoft.

Microsoft is regularly sued for patent infringement, often having 30 or more cases against it at any one time.

A current vexation for Microsoft is a patent suit against its new Ribbon user interface, employed in Office 2007, included in its upcoming Windows 7, and increasingly adopted by others. Something of a user interface standard in the making. In hopes of delay and ultimate derailment, Microsoft hornswoggled an Eastern District of Texas judge to transfer the case to Oregon, where it was docketed today. Denial is the longest river.

Microsoft has made no attempt engaging in settlement talks in this case, nor is it expected to. While Microsoft expects others to bow before it for patent infringement, paying any "patent tax," as it calls it, is anathema. When not giving lip over its own patents, Microsoft pays lip service to respect for intellectual property owned by others. Microsoft is a member of the euphemistically misnamed Coalition for Patent Fairness, a lobbyist for gutting patent protection in this country.

In other Ribbon patent news, Autodesk, maker of AutoCAD, was sued today in Oregon, over the same patent Microsoft is struggling against: 7,363,592.

Microsoft has already provided the '592 patent owner with its invalidity contentions. In doing so, Microsoft showed itself not to be a fan of country music singer Kenny Rogers. Mr. Rogers, using a poker analogy, once warbled: "know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em."

[Mr. Rogers pictured with the effervescent country music legend, Ms. Dolly Parton. Comparing the two pictures, who looks positively grobian?]

Posted by Patent Hawk at February 25, 2009 7:37 PM | Litigation


Hawkie, where did you find that picture of Stevie MShit Ballmer ?

Gosh, what an ugly dude...

Posted by: angry dude at February 26, 2009 7:49 AM

I havent read the patent but is there something real here?
I would suspect that the whole purpose of this lawsuit is to stir up anti-patent sentiment among the Linux community - sentiment which serves M$ quite well.
Then the Linux crowd will dutifully go out and work for Bill Gates for free.

Posted by: anonymousAgent at February 26, 2009 1:20 PM

I like new Windows OS. I have installed it in my PC. I use this Windows 7 Build torrent download

Posted by: swedd at April 27, 2009 5:26 AM

Posted by: swedd at April 27, 2009 5:27 AM

I think this battle between MS and tomtom will never come to an end as both sides stand on their positions quite firm

Posted by: megauploads search at May 17, 2010 3:45 PM