Microsoft has announced an expansion of its Azure IP Advantage program, bringing new features to startups and innovators working on Azure IoT. The company says the expansion to further protect cloud-based customers and reflect its membership of the Open Invention Network (OIN) and the License on Transfer (LOT) Network.

Azure IP Advantage was launched by Microsoft in 2017 and gives Azure organizations a protective barrier against intellectual property (IP) risks, such as patent infringements.

Since joining OIN and LOT, Microsoft says it realizes more can be done to help companies. Indeed, the company says IoT-litigated patents have increase over 400 percent from 2013 to 2018 in the United States alone.

Microsoft spent time with customers to better understand how to improve the Azure IP Advantage program. The result is an expansion that adds the following benefits:

  • Uncapped indemnification coverage for Microsoft’s Azure Sphere and Windows IoT. Indemnification helps protect a customer from IP infringement claims asserted against the customer for its use of the product or service.  Today’s expansion brings uncapped indemnification coverage to Azure Sphere and Windows IoT, including the open source software incorporated by Microsoft in these products.
  • Access to 10,000 patents for customers using Azure to power IoT devices to defend themselves against IP lawsuits. This benefit can help deter patent lawsuits against Azure customers for their workloads and applications running in Azure or on their IoT devices, as qualified customers can pick a patent to use in their defense of a lawsuit.
  • The ability for startups on Azure to acquire Microsoft patents to help boost their business. Qualified startups who also join the LOT Network can acquire Microsoft patents through LOT in technical areas including artificial intelligence, multimedia and security.  Patents can play an important role for startups as they grow, look for ways to protect their innovations, and attract critical capital support.”

IP Advantage on Azure Stack

Last year, Microsoft brought the IP Advantage to its Azure Stack service. The cloud platform offers specifically designed for on-premises data centers. Microsoft points out that Stack customers access cloud services using on-premises data centers and hosted environments.

With Azure IP Advantage, Stack customers receive:

“Benefits, such as the uncapped IP indemnification of Azure services, including the open source software powering these services, or the defensive portfolio of 10,000 patents, are available to customers innovating in the hybrid cloud with Azure Stack.”