Microsoft pledges to support industry standards when it comes to patents

Microsoft is pledging to support industry standards with its patents that are necessary for the development of the Internet and cross operability among mobile devices, reports In a post on its website, the giant software company announced recently that it is changing its tune on how to protect and share patents.

“Like other leading high-tech firms, Microsoft regularly contributes to the development of industry standards. Industry standards are vitally important to the development of the Internet and to interoperability among mobile devices and other computers,” its web page said. ”The international standards system works well because firms that contribute to standards promise to make their essential patents available to others on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. Consumers and the entire industry will suffer if, in disregard of this promise, firms seek to block others from shipping products on the basis of such standard essential patents.”

Microsoft’s approach is straight-forward, the web announcement continued:

  1. Microsoft will always adhere to the promises it has made to standards organizations to make its standard essential patents available on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.
  2. This means that Microsoft will not seek an injunction or exclusion order against any firm on the basis of those essential patents.
  3. This also means that Microsoft will make those essential patents available for license to other firms without requiring that those firms license their patents back to Microsoft, except for any patents they have that are essential to the same industry standard.
  4. Microsoft will not transfer those standard essential patents to any other firm unless that firm agrees to adhere to the points outlined above.
Many criticize the patent system for as it stands because it hinders innovation. Since change is slow in coming, “big firms like Microsoft and others are doing what seems necessary to make patents work for what they are worth,” reports.