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Legal Overview

The Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs Group (LCA) works on the cutting edge of business and regulatory issues around the world. A diverse and multidisciplinary team of legal, business, and corporate affairs professionals operates from 57 locations in 40 countries/regions worldwide.

LCA supports Microsoft by pioneering solutions. People are encouraged to play a proactive and engaged role not only in identifying problems, but also in forging new legal and corporate affairs solutions that will advance business goals and also benefit consumers, industry partners, and the communities where we live and work.

LCA Diversity

At Microsoft, we believe diversity in our legal teams is a business necessity. We cannot be effective if we cannot understand and appreciate the interests of the incredibly diverse individuals who make up our stakeholder groups. This is important both for our own department and for the law firms on which we rely.

–Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

Increasing diversity in the legal profession is a long-standing priority, not only for Microsoft but also for numerous law firms, legal departments, and law schools. Many individuals and groups have worked hard to advance diversity, but progress has come slowly. Microsoft believes that it is important to add to existing initiatives by becoming more proactive. In July 2008, Microsoft launched a Law Firm Diversity Program for its 17 Premier Preferred Provider law firms; this program uses a "pay for performance" approach to enhance diversity. In addition, Microsoft launched several activities to work in closer partnership with its leading law firms.

Intellectual Property

In the high-tech industry, innovation relies on the ability to protect advances as intellectual property (IP) and on the ability to license IP rights easily to and from others.  No other software company invests as much in innovation as Microsoft; the Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs’ Intellectual Property & Licensing group protects this unparalleled innovation with a focus on creating a sustainable environment for current and future innovation. The Microsoft commitment to intellectual property includes protecting the company's innovations under intellectual property laws, encouraging a healthy intellectual property ecosystem around the world, reducing the piracy and counterfeiting of Microsoft software, and ensuring that the company acts responsibly with respect to IP owned by others.

Citizenship

As an industry leader and the world's largest software company, Microsoft has a responsibility to act as a good corporate citizen all around the world. Whether it is complying with local laws and regulations, demonstrating ethical business standards, mitigating risks to the environment, or protecting human rights, Microsoft is committed to being a global leader in corporate social responsibility.

Promoting Innovation

Microsoft is dedicated to collaborating with others to support choice, industry opportunity, and interoperability. The Windows Principles provide the industry and consumers with the benefits of ongoing innovation, while creating and preserving opportunities for competition.

Security and Privacy

Computer security, privacy, and children's safety on the Internet are priorities for private industry and policymakers alike. Through technology innovation and partnerships with industry, governments, and law enforcement agencies, Microsoft is working to help people and businesses protect themselves.

Community Engagement and Investment

Microsoft has a long history of community engagement, and this has led to many community partnerships around the world. Through monetary grants, software and curriculum donations, technology solutions, and employee volunteer hours, Microsoft supports projects and organizations that are making a difference.