Microsoft to strengthen IP protection

Moving to quell patent apprehension, Microsoft announced it will strengthen legal protection for distributors of its mobile and embedded software.

Moving to quell apprehension about patents, Microsoft will strengthen intellectual property (IP) protection for manufacturers and distributors using its software.

Microsoft has removed a cap on some legal costs for companies that use or alter source code in Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile software platforms. Costs covered by the move would include patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret claims.

Microsoft said about 4,000 companies use embedded or mobile software. The company did not reveal the previous limit.

"We want our partners to have confidence they are not unnecessarily exposing themselves to IP problems," said Hardy Poppinga, Microsoft spokesman. "We're only making money if our partners are making money."

Microsoft introduced the IP program in 2003, Poppinga said. The program was expanded in 2004 to cover low-volume customers and partners, he said.

The changes bring those who use the Embedded and Mobile software in their devices in line with the IP protection Microsoft has extended to some of its other flagship products, the company said.

Microsoft's Embedded and Mobile software is used in smartphones, portable media centers, ATM machines, retail point-of-sale systems, industrial robots and thin clients.

In December, Visto accused Microsoft of a "blatant" infringement on three U.S. patents related to accessing e-mail from phones and other wireless devices. Visto filed suit in U.S. District Court in Texas seeking unspecified monetary damages and an injunction to stop Microsoft from shipping its Windows Mobile 5.0 platform, released in May 2005.

The timing of the new program with that litigation is "purely coincidental," Poppinga said. "The Visto case has nothing to do with what we're announcing here," he said.

Microsoft is currently involved in 35 patent-infringement disputes, according to a filing last month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Poppinga said he did not have information on any cases that deal with Windows Embedded or Windows Mobile software.

Also closely watched is NTP's patent-infringement case against Research in Motion (RIM), the vendor providing the popular BlackBerry push e-mail service. NTP is seeking a permanent injunction that would cause a BlackBerry blackout.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?