Microsoft IP Ventures Launches Irish Startup

Microsoft's IP Ventures program made its first-ever business launch, InishTech, a Dublin-based technology company that will handle Microsoft's Software Licensing and Protection (SLP) Services. In addition to Microsoft, other tech companies such as Google and Intel also have substantial venture-capital arms devoted to investing in an array of new technologies and startups.

Microsoft announced that its IP Ventures program has launched InishTech, a Dublin-based technology company that will handle Microsoft's Software Licensing and Protection (SLP) Services. It represents the first time that the IP Ventures program has created an existing Microsoft business, according to the company.

The launching of the company came about through a combined effort of the Microsoft IP Ventures Program and Enterprise Ireland, an Irish government agency devoted to developing the country's business section, as well as a handful of Irish entrepreneurs.

SLP Services allow independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers "to implement strong code protection and flexible licensing models aimed at increasing sales, improving development efficiency and providing assurance to customers that their IP is more secure," according to Microsoft.

InishTech will take responsibility for the SLP Services' existing customer base, working to expand the service to even more developers and independent software vendors. InishTech has the rights to SLP Services and licensed related intellectual property. InishTech will inherit 120 customers, and market SLP Services to prospective clients in conjunction with Microsoft.

Microsoft will have a minority interest in the company, and during an initial period will offer product service and support to customers.

"Software publishers have invested thousands of hours into their products," Aidan Gallagher, CEO and co-founder of InishTech, said in a statement, "and InishTech will help provide code protection and flexible licensing without adversely impacting their product development life cycle or compromising the functionality of their applications."

Microsoft launched its IP Ventures program in May 2005 in order to leverage its research and development investment into commercial opportunities.

Other IT companies have set up similar venture funds. In March 2009, Google announced that it was creating Google Ventures, a fund with the capacity to invest in consumer Internet, software, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care and other areas potentially harboring "the next big thing." Intel also have a venture-capital arm devoted to investment.