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Standards Licensing

Standards are an important element in Microsoft's business. Microsoft believes that standards help ensure interoperability, data exchange, and portability across the widest range of products and services, and bring great benefits to customers. Microsoft participates in numerous standards organizations and frequently contributes directly to the development of standards. As part of this process, Microsoft often commits to license its patents on royalty-free and other reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) terms to implementers of the industry standards.

This page lists royalty-free (and other RAND term) licenses that Microsoft has made available in the standards context. If you would like to enter into any of these agreements, please download the agreement, print it, have a person at your company with the appropriate authority sign it, and return it to Microsoft Corporation as directed in the licensing agreement.

Open Specification Promise
Community Promise
Open Web Foundation Agreement

Royalty Free RAND Licenses

Business Process Execution Language for Web Services Version 1.1

The Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) is an XML-based language for formally describing interoperable business processes and business interaction protocols. BPEL4WS defines how Web services are connected together in order to accomplish a particular task. The BPEL4WS specification builds on the foundation of Web services specifications, such as XML, SOAP, and WSDL, with the goal of facilitating sophisticated Web services scenarios involving business transactions. BPEL4WS will serve as a basis for Web services orchestration by creating the needed specifications to formally describe interoperable business processes and business interaction protocols. Learn more about BPEL4WS.

Download the Royalty-Free Business Process Execution Language for Web Services Specification icense Agreement (PDF, Download Microsoft Reader).

Compound File Binary File Format (Structured Storage Version 3)

The Microsoft Compound File Binary File Format (Structured Storage Version 3) is used as a storage layer in the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) Version 1.0.1 and later. AAF is a multimedia file format that enables content creators to easily exchange digital media and metadata across various platforms, and between systems and applications. AAF was designed to boost productivity in the creation of television, motion picture, and multimedia productions.

Download the Royalty-Free Compound File Binary File Format (Structured Storage) License Agreement (PDF, Download Microsoft Reader).

Sender ID for Email Specification

"Sender ID for Email: The Next Step to Deterring Spam" is the Microsoft draft specification to address the widespread problem of domain spoofing. Domain spoofing refers specifically to the use of someone else's domain name when sending a message, and is part of the larger spoofing problem, the practice of forging the sender's address on email messages. Sender ID for email would verify that each email message originates from the Internet domain it claims to come from. Eliminating domain spoofing will help legitimate senders protect their domain names and reputations, and help recipients more effectively identify and filter junk email.

Download the Royalty-Free Sender ID for Email Specification License Agreement (PDF, Download Microsoft Reader).

Sockets Direct Protocol for InfiniBand Trade Association Specification Version 1.1

Sockets Direct Protocol (SDP) on InfiniBand has been derived from Microsoft Windows Sockets Direct technology. To date, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) networks have not achieved significant volume because applications must be modified to use an RDMA API. Using Sockets Direct Protocol, an operating system can support mapping the traditional sockets API over TCP to operate transparently over an RDMA network. Thus the value of RDMA networks can be realized without simultaneously upgrading the networking applications. SDP has been standardized within the InfiniBand Trade Association based on an initial contribution of the Windows Sockets Direct Protocol (WSDP) from Microsoft, and is an optional normative annex to the InfiniBand 1.1 specification. Learn more about the InfiniBand Trade Association.

Download the Royalty-Free Sockets Direct Protocol License Agreement (PDF, Download Microsoft Reader).

Web Services Security (WS-Security)

The Web Services Security specification (WS-Security) provides a set of mechanisms to help developers of Web services secure SOAP message exchanges. Specifically, WS-Security describes enhancements to the existing SOAP messaging to provide quality of protection through the application of message integrity, message confidentiality, and single message authentication to SOAP messages. These basic mechanisms can be combined in various ways to accommodate building a wide variety of security models using a variety of cryptographic technologies.

Download the Royalty-Free Web Services Security Specification License Agreement (PDF, Download Microsoft Reader).

For information on other standards licenses available from Microsoft, please contact us.