It’s a well-known fact that a large portion of Microsoft revenues are actually coming from Android royalties, but it seems that Linus Torvalds is now indirectly responsible for a patent-related decision that might cost the Redmond company millions of dollars.
One of the patents enforced by Microsoft refers to “common name space for long and short filenames,” which is directly related to the FAT patent and which is used to squeeze the royalties from the other companies.
According to fosspatents.com the Bundespatentgericht (Federal Patent Court of Germany, BPatG) had a hearing regarding “common name space for long and short filenames” (EP0618540) patent.
“The ruling that EP0618540 on a ‘common name space for long and short filenames’ is invalid in its entirety (including Microsoft's proposed amendments) because the court found that all of the elements distinguishing the patented invention from the prior art (which includes a Linus Torvalds post to a mailing list) did not satisfy the technicity requirement under European patent law,” it is said on fosspatents.com.
If the appeal, which will be held at Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, BGH), is lost, that would put Microsoft in a very difficult position.