US DOJ lets Microsoft resume collecting protocol royalties

The technical documentation for protocols is substantially complete, the DOJ says

Microsoft may begin collecting royalties again for licensing some protocols because clear technical documentation is now available, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Tuesday.

The change comes after the DOJ issued its latest joint status report regarding its 2002 antitrust settlement with Microsoft.

The settlement required Microsoft to make available technical documentation that would allow other vendors to make products that are interoperable with Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

The program, called the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP), allowed vendors to license certain protocols from Microsoft. But Microsoft and the DOJ disagreed over the quality of the documentation, and Microsoft engineers had to rewrite large tracts of it.

The DOJ said the plaintiffs now regard the documentation as "substantially complete" although "a small number of documents require substantial rewriting or reorganization," the DOJ said. Also, test suites for Windows 7 protocols must be written.

So far, 55 companies are licensing patents for communications protocols. Forty-two of those companies would be required to pay royalties. Some protocols are available for free from Microsoft, and the DOJ said documents describing protocols have been downloaded more than 732,000 times.

In another part of the status report, the DOJ said a new "substantive complaint" against Microsoft was received in September. The state plaintiffs and the technical committee "are currently engaged in ongoing discussions with both Microsoft and the complainant." No further information was available.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftprotocolsUSA governmentroyalties

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

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?