Microsoft today expanded its end user intellectual property protection policy to cover customers using a wider range of its software, including Windows Server System, SQL Server and Exchange Server, Microsoft Office System and the Windows client software.
This protection, referred to as intellectual property indemnification, is designed to shield end users from exposure to legal costs and damage claims related to patent or other intellectual property disputes.
It covers the four major forms of intellectual property disputes commonly associated with software: patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark.
According to the Redmond giant, the changes will effectively extend its intellectual property protection for covered claims from volume licensees to all end users of the company's software.
"Intellectual property indemnification is important and companies should ask their providers to be specific about the coverage they offer," said Al Gillen, research director for system software at analyst IDC.
Kevin Johnson, group vice president of the Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Services Group at Microsoft, added: "Customers have repeatedly told us that protection from intellectual property claims is a fundamental issue of risk management and is essential for their IT solutions.
"Our message to customers is clear: we stand behind you, and we stand behind our software."
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