With an annual R&D budget of over $16.8 billion, Microsoft is among the top investors in innovation worldwide. As both an owner and user of intellectual property (IP), our ability to innovate and drive the development of cutting-edge technology and solutions across the globe relies on various types of intellectual property including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Microsoft works to encourage innovation throughout the world through the use of IP and promotes both balance and clarity in IP rights for the benefit of all stakeholders who engage with intellectual property.

Today’s era of innovation reflects a dynamic environment that is changing rapidly with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) powered by big data, massive computing power, and sophisticated algorithms. Microsoft is deploying its IP portfolio to help customers, partners, and developers around the globe build on technology to propel their innovations forward.

In 2018, Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a community dedicated to protecting the Linux ecosystem. In joining OIN, we committed to license our extensive patent portfolio to other licensees of OIN to help protect Linux and Linux-based open source workloads. We also joined the LOT Network (LOT), a community devoted to help protect participating companies from patent assertions by non-practicing entities.

Microsoft’s Azure IP Advantage program is designed to support our customers and foster an environment that values and protects innovation in the cloud. Through Azure IP Advantage, Microsoft makes patents available to customers for defensive purposes and provides protection for its customers against assertions by non-practicing entities.

To innovate with AI, organizations of all sizes must be able to access data and have the technical skills needed to use it effectively. Microsoft is committed to closing the data divide and ensuring that every organization no matter how big or small can benefit from AI and the data economy. Microsoft’s Open Data Campaign will focus on new principles that will guide our approach to data sharing, new data sharing collaborations in partnership with others, and new technologies and tools to help make data sharing easier.

Microsoft strives to be a responsible leader in shaping the global IP and open innovation ecosystems by actively engaging in policy discussions with stakeholders such as governments and industry, with a focus on creating sustainable environments for future innovation and creativity.