Feeling Safer Under Microsoft's Cloud Patent Shield? Don't
Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, recently announced a new deal called the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage Program. It is touted as “the industry’s most comprehensive protection against intellectual property (IP) risks”.
It will be available for users of Azure cloud offerings. The protection is intended to “help foster a community that values and protects innovation and investments in the cloud... without worrying about lawsuits”, especially from non-practising entities (aka patent trolls) and the frivolous patent lawsuits they are infamous for.
Microsoft has been at the forefront of cloud providers in developing and marketing legal strategies to help protect customers against legal risks associated with cloud-based solutions. For example, it recently successfully challenged the validity of a US warrant requiring it to turn over customer data hosted by a Microsoft affiliate in Ireland in Microsoft Corporation v USA (2nd.Cir. Jul. 14, 2016).
Sookman, Barry, "Feeling Safer Under Microsoft's Cloud Patent Shield? Don't" (2017). Editorials and Commentaries. 120.