Intellectual Property – Licensing Policy
To promote broader availability and use of our technologies, Microsoft may periodically publish new licensing programs on Microsoft.com. Microsoft currently maintains programs for licensing Windows and other source code, hundreds of communication protocols, popular Microsoft Office XML schemas, and other technologies.
- Application to academics
For bona fide academic institutions, Microsoft makes available appropriate royalty-free covenants under its patents. These royalty-free covenants are intended to encourage non-commercial research and educational activities.
- Application to software developer kits (SDKs)
Microsoft recognizes that in the past independent software vendors (ISVs), as part of the SDK program for developing software that runs on the Windows platform, have received certain IP licenses from Microsoft. We do not expect to make changes to our existing approach of granting specific licenses to develop such software under our SDK agreements.
- Application to existing standards commitments
As a major participant in many industry standards bodies, Microsoft frequently contributes technology and know-how to these organizations. Many of these organizations have well-defined policies that specify how patents and other IP should be licensed in the standard-setting context. Microsoft will continue to comply with all applicable policies when participating in industry standards processes, including the contribution of technology to standards bodies under "reasonable and nondiscriminatory" (RAND) terms, either on a for-fee, or royalty-free basis, as defined by each standards group.