Microsoft is committed to responsible intellectual property management, including the creation of a healthy patent ecosystem around the world that promotes and encourages innovation. One component of a well-functioning patent system is clarity around what entity is the real party in interest for a particular patent. Increased transparency around ownership reduces the likelihood of opportunistic behavior and gamesmanship by patent holders and helps facilitate licensing.
To demonstrate our commitment to transparency, published below is a list that includes to the best of our knowledge all issued patents that Microsoft currently owns, either directly or through subsidiaries, along with a tool for assisting in review of the list. The list includes worldwide issued patents that Microsoft has filed and prosecuted, as well as patents that we have acquired over time. In addition, the list contains some patents that have lapsed but that form a part of our historical portfolio.
As Microsoft realigns its core functions we are also realigning our licensing and legal support by forming Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC. Continuing Microsoft’s commitment to transparency, Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC will continue to make every patent it holds publicly available via the patent tracker.
This is a reorganization to ensure the appropriate support to business groups and streamline the management of the Microsoft patent assets. This business decision does not change the company’s IP commitments or approach to litigation as a last resort. Our commitments to partners, regulators, and standards organizations will not be impacted. Microsoft and its subsidiaries remain committed to responsible intellectual property management.
Microsoft generated the list of patent numbers. The related information (Patent Title, Region and Assignee) was procured from the Thomson Reuters IP database. Please note that the list may not include all acquired patents as of the date of posting, as the process of completing our intake of acquired patents takes some time. We plan to update the list periodically to add newly issued and acquired patents. For more information, visit the FAQ page.
You can find more information about the patents in the list in a variety of places. For a US patent, start at the US Patent and Trademark Office’s general Patent Search home page and navigate to their Full-Text and Image Database, or view additional information using Public PAIR. A good resource for patents from many countries is the European Patent Office’s Espacenet Patent Search site (which includes a training course). For more information about a patent from another country, contact or visit the web site of the patent-granting authority in that location.
Compiling and updating this information is a non-trivial exercise. Microsoft has used and will continue to use our best efforts to compile and make available this information, but nonetheless some errors may exist. If you notice any errors, please contact us and we will correct them in a timely fashion.
How to Use the List
In order to facilitate review and analysis of the list, we are publishing it in two ways.
Patent Tracker Tool
The patent tracker tool permits a search of the list to be performed. The search can be directed to US or international portions of the portfolio, or to any individual country. Alternately, the list may be searched by patent number, title, or assignee of record.
List of Patents
Also provided is a link to a downloadable copy of the list in a platform-independent “comma-separated values” (CSV) format. This file can be downloaded, manipulated, and viewed in any application that can display text.