Microsoft is launching a new program called Microsoft Azure Advantage to counter what it describes as new IP risks in the form of baseless IP lawsuits, the company has said.

In a detailed post, the officials of the company say that the new program has been designed to help the cloud users of the company understand the different patents that the company holds and use the patents appropriately, without attracting unnecessary lawsuits.

The company has also said that it believes the new program will be beneficial to its cloud services customers as well as other members of its community who are willing to partner with it in business.

It appears that the company was motivated by the need to protect its huge list of patents when launching the program. 

Currently, Microsoft holds about 60,000 unique patents. The company has announced that under the Azure IP Advantage program, it is releasing 10,000 of its patents to its partners as a way of protecting its trove of patents.

The essence of the new program is based on the need for the company to offer a form of indemnity coverage for its cloud services customers. The new plan is expected to be used to cover all forms of open technology that are used to power Azure cloud services.

Officials of the company believe that this approach will be beneficial to the company as well as its cloud services customers.

According to sources, all the individuals who are currently using the Azure plan will be covered by the new plan.

For the clients who are interested in the Patent Pick, an advanced service offering from the company, the company requires that the clients must prove that they have spent at least $1,000 per month for the past 3 months. Moreover, the company requires that for customers to qualify for this service offering, they must not have signed a suit against each other for the past two years. The company requires documentary evidence for this condition.

Similarly, users who are interested in the ‘Springing License’ service offering by the company should have exceeded the $1,000-month expenditure per month over the past few months.

It remains to be seen how the company will roll out the new service in the world, given that the service is yet to be made available in China. The company has acknowledged that it is yet to make the service available in China.


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