Microsoft is dropping financial caps in its support for PC builders and distributors to combat intellectual property lawsuits involving the company's software.
And it is opening up legal defence fees to a broader range of claims over patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark issues.
Microsoft notes that in IP disputes, it is "all too common for a technology company’s channel partners to be pursued for the alleged IP violations". It points to its support for Gateway when the PC maker was sued by Lucent in a patent suit over its use of Microsoft supporter.
This is "one such example of the complex and real nature of IP issues in the industry today. Channel partners are looking for vendors that are willing to stand behind their products and help protect them from these kinds of risks," the company says.
Microsoft has kindly provided the world with an quote from Stephen Graham, a group veep at IDC:
"The market is changing and channel partners need to pay attention to what’s happening in the software industry in the area of intellectual property management.Even if a partner believes it is an unlikely litigation target, business disruption can still result from a legal dispute regarding a key supplier’s IP. To protect their own interests, partners should make sure they understand the degree of IP protection and the resources available to them from the vendor should an infringement issue arise.”
Press release here. ®