Microsoft Patent to be Reexamined at PUBPAT's Request
Patent Office Agrees There is a "Substantial Question" Regarding FAT Patent's Validity
June 10, 2004
NEW YORK -- The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an Order granting the Public Patent Foundation's Request for Reexamination of Microsoft's patent on the FAT file system, which Microsoft concedes is "the ubiquitous format used for interchange of media between computers, and, since the advent of inexpensive, removable flash memory, also between digital devices." In its Order, the Patent Office found that PUBPAT's request raised "a substantial new question of patentability" regarding every claim of the patent.
Microsoft now has the opportunity to make an opening statement to the Patent Office, to which PUBPAT has the right to make a response. After opening statements, if any, the Patent Office will proceed to determine whether the patent is indeed invalid in light of the new questions raised by PUBPAT's request. Third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by PUBPAT, are successful in having the subject patent either narrowed or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
"We are obviously very pleased with the Patent Office's decision to grant our request to reexamine Microsoft's FAT patent," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director and Founder. "This is the first step towards ending the harm being caused to the public by this patent that should have never been issued."
More information about the Request for Reexamination, including a copy of the Patent Office's Order Granting the request, can be found at http://www.pubpat.org/Protecting.htm.
Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director, Public Patent Foundation: 212-545-5337; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.pubpat.org.
The Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") is a not-for-profit legal services organization working to protect the public from the harms caused by the patent system. PUBPAT provides the general public, particularly those persons or businesses otherwise deprived of access to the system governing patents, with representation, advocacy, and education. To be kept informed of PUBPAT News, subscribe to the PUBPAT News List by sending an email with "subscribe" in the subject line to email@example.com.