From Forbes and Microsoft: Microsoft has launched a service designed to enable anyone to determine which of its patents are owned and by whom. The internet based patent monitory service tracks changes to a variety of Patent Registers in Europe and North America to help with its cause. The Patent tracker can also track changes to patent families and legal status.
Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith wrote on the ‘Microsoft on the Issues‘ Blog that
Transparency around patent ownership will help prevent gamesmanship by companies that seek to lie in wait and “hold up” companies rather than enable a well-functioning secondary market.
The new Microsoft patent website states that:
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.