Microsoft donates 500 patents to start-ups

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Microsoft donates 500 patents to start-ups


Expanding its "Azure IP Advantage" programme, Microsoft is donating 500 patents to start-ups that are part of a non-profit organisation called License On Transfer (LOT) Network.

Launched in 2018, the "Azure IP Advantage" programme protects users of Microsoft's cloud computing service -- Azure -- against patent trolls.

Keeping in line with the intention of the programme, LOT Network protects companies against patent trolls by giving them access to a wide library of patents from its nearly 400 member companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Uber among others. 

"We want to help the LOT Network grow its network of start-ups and to provide an incentive we are going to provide these patents to them," TechCrunch quoted Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President (CVP) and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft, as saying on Thursday. 

However, for any start-up to qualify for getting a patent granted to LOT Network, the company is required to meet a $1,000 per month Azure spend and Microsoft would check the start-up's last three monthly Azure bills.

"Qualified start-ups who join the LOT Network can acquire Microsoft patents as part of their free membership and as Andersen stressed, the start-ups will own them outright," the report said. 

The LOT network will be able to provide its start-up members with up to three patents from this collection.

"The idea is that these start-ups come from a diverse set of industry sectors. The hope we have is that when they approach LOT, they'll find patents among those 500 that are going to be interesting to basically almost any company that might want a foundational set of patents for their business," Andersen added. 



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