Microsoft to License Tech to Startups

By eweek  |  Posted 2005-05-04

As part of its burgeoning IP-licensing strategy, Microsoft Corp. has established a new division that will be charged with licensing technologies developed by Microsoft Research to startups and venture capitalists.

Microsoft announced on Wednesday the formation of its new six-person IP Ventures group, as well as a list of 20 technologies developed by Microsoft Research that it plans to license in exchange for equity stakes in new ventures and/or royalty payments.

Among the technologies Microsoft is offering to license are Conference XP, a distance-learning program; a mesh-networking program; and "Wallop," a social-networking application.

Unlike IBM, which announced in January that it would make 500 of its software patents available to the open-source community, Microsoft is not offering its technologies under any kind of open-source license or for free.

"These are all things we believe have commercial value," said David Kaefer, Microsofts director of business development for IP and licensing. "They will all be made available under equity arrangements, and later, royalty arrangements."

Microsoft plans to bring the venture capitalists and startup vendors to its Redmond, Wash., campus following their agreement to license these technologies so they can meet the developers and teams who created them. Microsoft also plans to provide the licensees with training to help them understand and use the technologies.

Read the full story on Microsoft Watch: Microsoft: We Want to Be Another Xerox PARC

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