Wednesday, November 10, 2004

COULD INDEMNIFICATION BE THE TRUMP CARD FOR MICROSOFT? In a recent announcement, Microsoft plans to expand the scope of its intellectual property protection policy to cover customers using current and earlier versions of its software.

The announcement, made late Tuesday evening, includes the Windows Server System (including Microsoft SQL Serve and Exchange Server), Microsoft Office System and the Windows client.

Microsoft said it will cover the four forms of intellectual property disputes commonly associated with software: patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark disputes.

Microsoft has been relying on indemnification issues to gain market advantage over Linux and other open-source companies, which currently offer little to no protection for users from infringement claims made by patent holders. Steve Ballmer from Microsoft released a 4 page memo last month (reported on this blog) explaining how indemnification issues can significantly contribute to costs for users of open-source software.

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