Microsoft today announced the new Azure IP Advantage program, a new program in which they use their patent portfolio to help protect their cloud customers from patent suits. If sued, eligible Azure customers can acquire one of 10,000 patents that Microsoft will make available to help counter assert against an aggressor (7,500 available now, 2,500 more coming soon). Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program will include the following benefits:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
After previewing the program, Microsoft Azure 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.”
Check the video below to learn more about this program,