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.
Microsoft has a history of licensing patents under fair and reasonable terms to companies that respect Microsoft intellectual
property rights. For examples of our licensing programs, visit
Microsoft Technology Licensing. In general, Microsoft considers all requests for licenses, but reserves the right not to license certain
technologies and/or patents. Where Microsoft determines to license patents, we generally do so non-exclusively and on
terms similar to how others in the technology industry license their own patents, typically referred to as "commercially
- 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.
This policy statement highlights current Microsoft licensing practices and is subject to change at any time. This policy
statement is also subject to variation to conform to applicable laws and regulations.