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Protecting innovation in the cloud with Azure IP Advantage

This month Microsoft announced the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program. This new program is the industry’s most comprehensive protection against intellectual property (IP) risks, using Microsoft’s patent portfolio to help protect our cloud customers.

“Our goal is to help foster a community that values and protects innovation and investments in the cloud,” wrote Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer. “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.”
The 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.

For more on the benefits of the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program, please see the Official Microsoft Blog. If you’re an Azure customer, you can hear from early adopter customers and get started here. Let us know what you think of this new program in the comments.