Microsoft drops its patent list online

Microsoft drops its patent list online

Summary: The Microsoft Patent Tracker lists all patents the software giant is involved with. There's an online list and a CSV file to download into a spreadsheet.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Tech Industry, Legal
23

Microsoft on Thursday made good on its pledge to put its patent interests online for download.

In a blog post, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said his company believed that transparency about patent ownership was critical. Microsoft's move revolves around creating a searchable database to indicate patents where Microsoft is a party in interest.

The Microsoft Patent Tracker lists all patents the software giant is involved with. There's an online list and a CSV file to download into a spreadsheet.

Smith and Microsoft last month at a Capitol Hill hearing made the case is that every company that owns a U.S. patent should be more transparent. More transparency would help with licensing and theoretically curb patent troll lawsuits.

patentscreen

 

Topics: Tech Industry, Legal

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

23 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Very confusing headline

    "Microsoft drops its patent list online"

    To me, that means they had it and they've discontinued it (as in 'I dropped the service' or 'I had a phone call, but it got dropped.'

    I would have gone with "Microsoft delivers its online patent list"
    TheWerewolf
    • anything to get clicks

      ;)
      Simon Tupper
    • I had exactly the same thought.

      Microsoft "puts" patent list online
      dimonic
      • Anybody remember the doctor on Arrested Development?

        Dr: We lost your husband.
        Wife: What! He wasn't even really sick, how did he die?
        Dr: No, I mean 'we lost him', we don't know where he is...
        Wife: What is wrong with you, you son of a....!
        WilRL
  • MS 2013 Patent App No. US5467863

    An electronic device with a screen and keyboard that process electronic data.

    Looks like the beat Apple to filing by 30 seconds.
    Alan Smithie
    • hahaha...

      To bad such a vague description wouldn't actually hold up in court. The keyboard/screen/cpu combo has been ubiquitus since the 50's.

      I'm sure somebody at apple lost theirs mind (and their job) over missing this one.
      rockfanMCE
  • A good step forward.

    "In a blog post, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said his company believed that transparency about patent ownership was critical. Microsoft's move revolves around creating a searchable database to indicate patents where Microsoft is a party in interest."

    A good step forward.

    Transparency is good :).

    Can ZDNet be more transparent as to what's up with our long missing edit button?

    [quote]More transparency would help with licensing and theoretically curb patent troll lawsuits.[/quote]

    Dunno about the patent trolls - a real patent troll is unlikely to go transparent, as their business model revolves around the legal equivalent of "shock and awe."
    CobraA1
    • Gee, took them 25 years to do this

      And we're supposed to be impressed?
      CaviarGreen
  • Microsoft drops its patent list online

    Kudos to Microsoft! Now we don't have to read about those posts were people are asking why Microsoft isn't saying what the patent is.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • Maybe microssoft is getting ready to

      For future lawsuits by making it's patent accessible for everyone to see, so anytime a debate is on you simply have to visit the website to get a clearer idea of MS' position.
      Simon Tupper
    • blah blah blah

      they still have to assert the specific patent to file a complaint.
      timspublic1@...
      • When lost with words...

        All you got is blah blah blah....nice.
        Owllll1net
        • I figure...

          ...that any post with three "blahs" in a row is a personal insult and should be flagged.
          John L. Ries
    • they never had to reveal the contents of their patents

      Because ALL patents, with exception of those prtected by government for the sake of security, are open to the public to look at. All you have to do is go to the patent office website and look up whatever you wanted. The patent system wouldn't work at all if you couldn't see what a patent covered, nobody could be heild liable if that were the case.
      rockfanMCE
      • this should clarify

        Microsoft's position in this. http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/28/microsofts-new-patent-tracker-shows-us-every-one-of-the-40786-patents-it-owns-or-controls

        it's a good article, short and informative.
        Throw All The Things
    • and Mr. Davidson in the spirit of not having to read "broken record" type posts: if you would kindly put to rest some of your faves that come to mind like:
      - MS is a wonderful company that can do no wrong
      - the need for compiling linux software continuously
      - how linux has low usage share
      - that google 'spies' on me
      - etc
      drwong
  • Google, take notice and have a good read.

    Google lost all patent fight to MS, and MS earns a lot of money from MS patents in Android. Google should have read of all those MS patents before introducing the next stolen product.
    Owllll1net
    • And so should you...

      ...before you publish any non-trivial code (or allowing your employer to do so). If you're going to defend the "gotcha" business model, then you should live by it as well.
      John L. Ries
  • That's a start

    Now will someone at MS please inform the public which of their patents are supposedly infringed by "Linux"?
    John L. Ries
  • remember the good old days...

    Were a patent expired after 20 years and then anyone and everyone could sell your product without paying you a dime? We need to bring back mandatory expiration dates on patents. If you couldn't make your millions during the 20ys that you owned a patent, then you never will. Get over it and go invent something else to patent.
    rockfanMCE