Microsoft has developed a patent tracker facilitating a search of all of Microsoft’s patent holdings.
Why would Microsoft make it easier for competitors to search its patents? The company claims that it is a move of good faith to foster transparency. Perhaps there is more enlightened self-interest here
First, as discussed in prior items, Microsoft’s strategy is to develop significant licensing revenue from its patent holdings. Publicizing the extent of those holdings likely would call their attention to companies that should be licensing. Might a complete list of current licensees be forthcoming?
In addition, as pointed out by others, publishing the patents makes it more difficult for competitors to claim they didn’t know about them, presumably making it easier to prove willful infringement, if it came to that.