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  1. #1
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    [EN] Microsoft Offers 'Umbrella' to Customers Sued Over Azure Cloud Innovations

    Scott Graham, The National Law Journal
    February 8, 2017

    Microsoft Corp. has announced it will make 10,000 patents available to customers who face lawsuits over innovations that run on Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform and will expand its indemnification program to include customers sued over the open source technology that powers Microsoft Azure.

    http://www.nationallawjournal.com/ho...ud-Innovations

  2. #2
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    Protecting innovation in the cloud

    Brad Smith - President and Chief Legal Officer
    February 8, 2017

    Rapid advancements in cloud computing are creating new capabilities, insights and efficiencies, allowing businesses big and small to transform the way they deliver products and services. As this transformation accelerates, virtually every company in every sector of the economy is becoming in part a digital business. And as a digital business, it must master the new legal challenges that come with participation in the booming digital economy.

    One challenge that technology leaders such as Microsoft have long addressed is the risk of patent infringement. We have over two decades of experience and a broad legal infrastructure designed to manage these risks. We’ve thought about our role in promoting digital opportunities more broadly for companies across the economy. We’ve decided that we will use Microsoft’s patent portfolio to help protect our cloud customers.

    Today we are taking an important step to do just that. I am pleased to announce that we are launching Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program – the industry’s most comprehensive protection against intellectual property (IP) risks.

    Our goal is to help foster a community that values and protects innovation and investments in the cloud. We want software developers to be able to focus on coding, and businesses and enterprises to be able to respond to the changing needs of their customers with agility without worrying about lawsuits.

    It’s a goal that we believe deserves more attention than it has received to date. On the one hand, the cloud-based economic opportunity is enormous. This shift to the cloud will generate more than $1 trillion in IT spending by 2020, according to the research firm Gartner, representing an incredible economic opportunity for individuals and businesses around the world.

    But at the same time, it’s important to address the growing risk of intellectual property lawsuits in the cloud. According to Boston Consulting Group, there has been a 22 percent rise in cloud-based IP lawsuits over the last five years in the United States. And non-practicing entities (NPEs) have increased their acquisition of cloud-related patents by 35 percent over the same period.

    To address this growing challenge, the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program will include the following benefits:

    1) Our best-in-industry intellectual property protection with uncapped indemnification coverage will now also cover any open source technology that powers Microsoft Azure services, such as Hadoop used for Azure HD Insight.

    2) We will make 10,000 Microsoft patents available to customers that use Azure services for the sole purpose of enabling them to better defend themselves against patent lawsuits against their services that run on top of Azure. These patents are broadly representative of Microsoft’s overall patent portfolio and are the result of years of cutting-edge innovation by our best engineers around the world.

    3) We are pledging to Azure customers that if Microsoft transfers patents in the future to non-practicing entities, they can never be asserted against them. We do not have a practice of making such transfers, but we have learned that this is an extra protection that many customers value.

    With these changes, Microsoft now offers our customers industry-leading protection against intellectual property risk in the cloud. After previewing the program, our customer Shigeki Tomoyama, President of Toyota’s Connected Company, said, “With Azure IP Advantage we can operate and innovate more freely in the cloud while reducing our IP risk. Microsoft is uniquely able to provide such a comprehensive patent offering.”

    We take seriously our responsibility to make sure the cloud is used for good, and we stand with our customers to protect them against intellectual property risk. In partnership with our customers, we are committed to creating an ecosystem where developers, entrepreneurs, enterprises and customers can innovate with confidence.

    https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/201...ovation-cloud/

  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Dec 2010
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    Microsoft launches new Azure intellectual property protections

    Customers get improved indemnity for open source use and possible patent transfer.

    The program is only available for Azure customers who spend more than US$1,000 on their cloud bills with Microsoft every month.

    Blair Hanley Frank
    Feb 8, 2017

    Microsoft wants to help its cloud customers feel better protected from intellectual property lawsuit threats. To that end, the company is launching a new feature that’s designed to give them additional shielding.

    The Azure IP Advantage program (the IP stands for intellectual property) provides a trio of benefits. First, Microsoft will indemnify all Azure customers from intellectual property infringement claims resulting from their use of Azure products, including open source components.

    Second, the company will allow customers that meet a set of criteria access to a "patent pick" program, which will allow them to transfer one Microsoft patent from a list of 10,000 to help them with defending against an infringement suit.

    Third, in the event Microsoft transfers its patents to a non-practicing entity -- sometimes called patent trolls -- eligible Azure customers will get a license.

    The system is supposed to help ease the transition to the cloud by giving companies extra peace of mind. Right now, lawsuits over intellectual property relating to open source technology in the cloud are rare, Forrester vice president and principal analyst Jeffrey Hammond said in an email.

    But the frequency of cloud-based IP lawsuits rose 22 percent in the past five years, as Microsoft President Brad Smith pointed out in his blog post announcing the new protections.

    "It's an easy insurance policy for something that seems remote today to most enterprise IT shops and ISVs [indepedent software vendors], but it's something that could become an issue in the future, long after they’ve made strategic bets on public cloud providers," Hammond said.

    Microsoft's IP benefits are also something that could help it stand out in a crowded cloud market. The tech titan has tried to position its cloud as the friendliest home for enterprises while it competes with the likes of Google, Amazon Web Services, and IBM.

    Hammond sees Microsoft's action as a move to try and nip the potential cloud IP lawsuit problem in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue. Furthermore, it might help some companies that are evaluating the cloud.

    "I think it will be most interesting to smaller ISVs that want to build a SaaS-based offering on a public cloud and conservative enterprise shops where the general counsel's office still has concerns about adopting open source frameworks for strategic applications," Hammond said.

    The move could also help accelerate cloud lock-in for those companies that are gun-shy about intellectual property lawsuits targeting their cloud workloads. These protections only apply to what’s running in Microsoft Azure, so companies that leave Microsoft’s cloud will be leaving their coverage behind.

    Similarly, those companies operating in a multi-cloud configuration won’t be entirely covered.

    Microsoft already offered customers indemnification from intellectual property lawsuits resulting from the use of its services, but it didn't cover the use of open source technology. Starting Wednesday, the benefits changed to also cover things like the use of Hadoop, which is the backbone of Microsoft's Azure HDInsight product.

    That means Microsoft will step in to defend its customers in the event that a patent troll or other firm goes after their use of Azure services, even if the issue at hand involves an open source component of the service they’re using.

    In the event that an Azure customer faces a patent lawsuit over their technology, they can ask Microsoft for one of 10,000 patents that the company is making available for lawsuit defense as part of its patent pick program. The list of patents includes those from the U.S., as well as countries including Germany, Japan, and China.

    Azure customers will be able to pick from such patents as "Honey Monkey network exploration" and "Secure recovery in a serverless distributed filesystem," assuming they meet the conditions of the program.

    The program is only available for Azure customers who spend more than US$1,000 on their cloud bills with Microsoft every month. Furthermore, they must have been sued for patent infringement over their patent workloads, and can only use the patent they get to defend against a suit. Any customer who has sued a fellow Azure customer for patent infringement over their Azure workloads in the past two years is ineligible.

    Microsoft will transfer the patent that a customer picks for them to hold in perpetuity, solely for the purposes of defending against patent infringement lawsuits. The company will charge a customer taking advantage of the patent pick program for the administrative costs for transferring the patent.

    If one invention is covered by different patents in different countries, Microsoft will transfer the patent that’s relevant for the locale in which its customer is defending against a lawsuit.

    In the event that Microsoft transfers some of its patents to a non-practicing entity in the future, Azure customers spending at least $1,000 per month on their cloud bills for the previous three months will be covered by a license to those patents.

    The company said that it does not typically sell patents to non-practicing entities. This service basically serves as an extra bit of insurance for concerned Azure customers.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/31677...otections.html

  4. #4
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Dec 2010
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    Patents in the Service of Open Source

    The Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (Open Patent Non-Assert or OPN) was developed by Google to decrease patent threats around open-source software (OSS). There are a variety of OSS copyright licenses and licensing organizations that provide for the responsible allocation of patent rights, emphasizing defensive use only. The Apache License 2.0 and the Open Invention Network are leading examples.

    The OPN Pledge is designed to supplement existing OSS licensing alternatives, providing patent holders who care about reducing threats to OSS a more robust defensive capability against incoming patent aggression. It is a response to recent developments in the patent marketplace, whereby companies that increasingly seek the benefits of OSS in their own businesses nonetheless launch attacks against open source products and platforms as it suits their fancy. The OPN is also an encouragement to those patent holders who support OSS, but refrain from entering OSS licenses with patent provisions out of concern they might be giving away too many rights and leaving themselves vulnerable.

    As set forth in the terms and conditions of the OPN Pledge itself, here are some of the key benefits of the OPN:

    • Patent holders determine exactly which patents (and related technologies) they wish to Pledge and offer the public transparency in the process.
    • Allows for defensive termination relative to a broader range of incoming patent attacks.
    • Non-assert promise and defensive use only terms designed to remain in force for the life of the patents, even if sold or transferred.


    Google has set forth its own Pledge and Pledged Patents at this site. As we see it, the OPN Pledge can be a useful instrument for other large operating companies, emerging growth companies, developer organizations and their investors.

    Leading companies and organizations such as Cloudera, IBM, and OIN agree and endorse the OPN Pledge.


    https://www.google.com/patents/opnpledge/

  5. #5
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Open Patent

    The open patent movement seeks to build a portfolio of patented inventions that can freely be distributed under a copyleft-like license. These works could be used as is, or improved, in which case the patent improvement would have to be re-licensed to the institution that holds the original patent, and from which the original work was licensed. This frees all users who have accepted the license from the threat of lawsuits for patent infringement, in exchange for their surrendering the right to build up new patents of their own (in the specific domain for which the original license applies)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_patent

    The Basics Of Open Patent Licensing | TechCrunch

    Patent Rights And Open Source - Can They Co-Exist - Fenwick & West?

  6. #6
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Ironicamente, as grandes empresas passaram da situação de não usar "open source" porque não podiam processar os responsáveis para a situação de serem processadas pelos responsáveis por usar.

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