Microsoft grants licenses to companies under fair and reasonable terms. It is important for the company claiming license to adhere with the Microsoft's IP licensing policy. The process for granting license is non-exclusive and is based on "commercially reasonable" terms i.e. terms under which other technology industry license is granted. Microsoft entered into more than 1200 licensing agreements under commercially reasonable licensing terms with more than 700 of the world's most dynamic and innovative companies. Generally, Microsoft reserves the right to grant license with certain limitations while accepting the application for licenses. The companies after obtaining license can use the licensed technology in their products, subject to the terms and conditions specified in the licensing agreement. It allows the companies to download product and keys, access all the information in one location, view the relationship summary and licensing summary details, review the status of enrollments and review and consume other software assurance benefits.
Microsoft considers following applications for granting licenses:
- Application to Academics
Microsoft makes available appropriate royalty-free covenants for bona fide academic institution under its patent. Microsoft aims to encourage commercial research and educational activities by providing royalty free covenants to academic institutions.
- Application to Software Developer kits (SDKs)
Microsoft grants specific IP licenses to independent software vendors (ISV's) as part of the SDK program for developing software that runs on the windows platform. The aim of granting specific licenses under SDK agreements is to encourage software vendors to develop such software.
- Application to existing standard commitments
The vast majority of patents formerly owned by Microsoft Corporation is now owned by the Microsoft Technology Licensing (MTL). It is responsible for granting licenses for patents of Microsoft Corporation and its other subsidiaries, including certain related technology. Microsoft contributes technology and know-how to standard bodies under "reasonable and non-discriminatory" (RAND) terms either on a for-fee, or royalty-free basis. Microsoft's licensing terms complies with the organizations well-defined policies that specify how patent and other IP should be licensed in the standard setting context.
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