Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents Cloud Microsoft The Courts

Microsoft Now Offers Patent Troll Defense For Azure Customers (thestack.com) 31

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft Azure will now offer customers protection against patent trolling, via Redmond's considerable collection of 10,000 legal patents. The practice of patent trolling has become an industry hazard for startups in the last fifteen years, with companies forming solely for the purpose of exploiting obscure or difficult-to-research patents which may overlap with the IP of startups. As of today, Azure is offering 'uncapped indemnification coverage', including coverage against open-source implementations of entities such as Hadoop, which forms the basis of Azure's HD Insight product.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Now Offers Patent Troll Defense For Azure Customers

Comments Filter:
  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @02:23PM (#53827481) Journal

    If I run Linux in azure, will I then be protected against patent lawsuits from microsoft that they believe that Linux violates? :D

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by halivar ( 535827 )

      The Halloween emails were almost 20 years ago. No one from that time is left in Redmond. At some point, it's time to let it go.

      • Re:How about Linux (Score:4, Informative)

        by spacepimp ( 664856 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @03:05PM (#53827801) Homepage

        Interesting considering the FUD campaign is still alive and well with their android tax.

      • halivar [slashdot.org]: "The Halloween emails were almost 20 years ago. No one from that time is left in Redmond. At some point, it's time to let it go."

        "Acquired rights. You will defend us against any claim that arises .. We may modify this agreement at any time by posting a revised version on the legal information section of the Portal" ref [microsoft.com]

        translation: You agree to be fucked twice in both ends ..
    • Yes, it's if you don't go through MS to run Linux that you have to worry. That's a nice cluster you got there... shame if it should get tangled in some unfortunate litigation...

  • by SlaveToTheGrind ( 546262 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @02:28PM (#53827529)

    The summary (as well as the cited article) gloms together two unrelated issues. The 10,000 patents have nothing to do with protection against patent trolls -- by definition, trolls typically don't have an active business and therefore there's nothing to infringe patents that a defendant might counter-assert.

    The original MS blog post [microsoft.com] clearly separates the unlimited indemnification (useful for all patent suits, including troll suits) from access to the 10,000 patents (potentially useful for patent suits filed by real operating companies who might have products of their own that fall under MS's patents).

    • IANAL, but if you claim that you're operating under licensed patent from MS, and the troll claims that you're violating their patent, don't they have to go fight MS now? If nothing else, letters from MS lawyers would probably send them scurrying for easier pickings.
      • IANAL, but if you claim that you're operating under licensed patent from MS, and the troll claims that you're violating their patent, don't they have to go fight MS now?

        No. Different patents are legally required to cover different things, so the fact that one aspect of something I do might be covered by one of MS's patents has no bearing on whether a different aspect of it might be covered by the troll's patent.

        • You've a far better respect for the patent office than I if you think they wouldn't issue slightly different patents for more or less identical procedures, especially with computer related activities...
          • You've a far better respect for the patent office than I if you think they wouldn't issue slightly different patents for more or less identical procedures

            Of course they would, and have in the past. But that's perfectly consistent with what I said. The out and out prohibition is against two patents covering exactly the same thing. After that, it becomes a question of degree.

  • When will they offer defenses against advertising in Windows 10?

  • Is the indemnification for using their service? One would hope that they're selling tools that you as a customer have the right to use...
  • This is a big deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nsxdavid ( 254126 ) <dw AT play DOT net> on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @03:22PM (#53827917) Homepage

    One can nit-pick all they want, but this is a really great move by Microsoft. We happen to use Azure already, so it's like free cookies (the yummy kind, not the browser kind).

    IP Trolls are a significant threat to any business, and anything that helps is extremely welcome.

    Obviously they didn't do this just out of the pure kindness of their hearts... it gives them a potential competitive advantage in the rapidly expanding cloud market. But a pretty smart one at that.

  • I honestly can't believe that nobody thought to get a business method patent on providing protection against patents.
  • by khz6955 ( 4502517 ) on Wednesday February 08, 2017 @04:31PM (#53828507)
    Does this mean that Microsoft front patent trolls like Acacia [arstechnica.com] and Intellectual Ventures [eff.org] can still sue you for using third party cloud services.
    • Not sure what you're talking about with Acacia -- they sue Microsoft all the time. And if IV happens to have any MS patents in its portfolio, they're certainly not included in the 10,000 referenced here.

  • Subject says it all. Is Azure doing badly or something?
  • Isn't this technically protection money? "That's a nice webapp you have there; it'd be a shame if someone sued you and forced you to close. Become an Azure paying customer and you'll be safe!"
  • If a user ever escapes to code outside their owners OS, any other owners can extract fines from that user.
    Best to only code on your OS owners systems for your own protection...
    The brand is a badge, a heraldic flag to code under. Code in code out, if a user runs away, they will get tracked down by roving legal teams.
    Be protected on your lords land or the many trolls will get you in the wild forests and mountains...
    Cloud tenure, a new tithe and indulgences next upgrade?

    You've... you've got a nice co

Decaffeinated coffee? Just Say No.

Working...