Microsoft to Support Fair Licensing of Industry-Standard Patents

Microsoft seems to have changed its earlier stand on licensing industry standard patents as the company now claims to be open to negotiations with rival business entities over the issue.

Earlier, the company was far more rigid in its approach and was often seen working towards blocking competitors' products if they were found to be infringing on its patents. Interestingly, the Windows maker announced the change in its approach on the same day as the arch rival Google, who also vowed to take a far more lenient approach while dealing with competitors over licensing standard-essential patents.

Microsoft also clarified that it is making all industry essential patents in its possession available for other companies without even demanding for a cross licensing patent agreement involving their nonessential technologies.

"Microsoft will always adhere to the promises it has made to standards organizations to make its standard essential patents available on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms", the Redmond giant stated.

"Patent holders should not seek to block shipments of competing products just because they implement an industry standard -- a license on reasonable terms is always available," Microsoft's corporate standards and antitrust groups head Dave Heiner, said in a blog posting, noted Business Week.