Menu
If you develop software with Microsoft, you now own the rights

If you develop software with Microsoft, you now own the rights

With more and more enterprises becoming involved in software development with their vendors, a growing concern has emerged over who owns that intellectual property

Credit: Dreamstime

Microsoft will let customers share intellectual property developed in partnership with the company. The move aligns with what analysts expect will be a growing concern for IT, with more and more enterprises becoming involved in software development.

There has been confusion over who owns newly created intellectual property and concern that without an approach that ensures customers own key patents to their solutions, technology companies like Microsoft will enter those customers’ markets and compete against them with the very technology they co-developed.

Microsoft’s initiative puts the company ahead of the curve on this issue, said Patrick Moorhead, president of the analyst firm Moor Insights & Strategy.

“The reality is, most major companies will become [intellectual property] creators in the future, but they don’t know it yet,” said Moorhead.

“What Microsoft announced helps those companies protect their [intellectual property] and Microsoft’s in a very open and consistent way. This will likely reduce buyer’s remorse and lawsuits.” 

Analyst Stephen O’Grady of RedMonk concurred. “As more enterprises have begun to embrace software as a core to their business rather than simply a cost of doing business, the likelihood that they create potentially valuable [intellectual property] as part of their efforts increases.”

Questions concerning ownership of that intellectual property are likely to become more common, he added.

Microsoft’s Shared Innovation Principles cover the following areas:

  • Respect for ownership of existing technology - As Microsoft works with customers, the company pledges to ensure that Microsoft and customers will each own improvements made to respective technologies.
  • Assuring customer ownership of new patents and design rights - Customers, rather than Microsoft, will own any patents and industrial design rights resulting from shared innovation work.
  • Licensing new intellectual property rights back to Microsoft - The company will receive a license back to any patents and design rights in the new technology that results from the shared innovation, but the license will be limited to improving Microsoft’s platform technologies.
  • Support for open source - Microsoft will work with customers to contribute code to open source projects.
  • Software portability - Microsoft will not impose contractual restrictions preventing customers from porting new, shared innovations to other platforms.
  • Transparency and clarity - Microsoft will work with customers to ensure transparency and clarity on IP issues as a shared innovation project moves forward.
  • Learning and improvement - Microsoft is pledging to use ongoing learning to improved shared innovation work.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments