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September 21, 2008

Microsoft's Patent Tax

Microsoft appears to have mastered the art of the patent squeeze. A recent convert from being something other than a patent piƱata, since 2003, the inception of its patent licensing program, Microsoft has wrestled 500 cross-licensing agreements from a wide variety of technology companies. Invariably the grateful recipient pads the Big Softee's kitty with a pittance for the privilege of peace of mind, that Microsoft won't hammer it with a patent infringement suit. Practically all of the licensed, with rare exception, are Microsoft customers. This past week, Pioneer was the 15th Japanese company to pony up.

Microsoft's patent assertions can be counted on one hand. Perhaps I've lost count, but only know of one, over mice. Small cheese.

Posted by Patent Hawk at September 21, 2008 1:23 PM | Patents In Business

Comments

MS's patent squeeze? Pot? Kettle?

Posted by: random at September 22, 2008 2:19 PM

You found the note, almost.

Everybody plays the patent game the same way, but infringers like whining about it.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at September 22, 2008 3:47 PM

"Everybody plays the patent game the same way"

yeah, but when you are a major corporation or a university, this is called technology licensing -a good thing

And when you are a poor dude hiring a patent litigator on a contingency basis it's called patent extortion

Go figure...

Posted by: angry dude at September 23, 2008 10:24 AM