Microsoft to back customers in infringement cases

Borrowing a line from Allstate Insurance, Microsoft wants customers to know they are in good hands when they choose its software.

The software maker plans to announce Wednesday that it will indemnify nearly all its customers against any claims that their use of Microsoft software infringed on any intellectual property claims. The company already offers unlimited protection to its volume license customers, but is adding the indemnity for customers who buy its key products in other ways, such as from a computer maker or even off a retail shelf.

"When we looked at things, there was no reason not to provide that coverage to all those folks as well," said David Kaefer, director of intellectual property licensing for Microsoft. The protection covers four main types of claims: patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark. The protection extends to nearly all of Microsoft's products, with the main exception being embedded versions of Windows, largely because customers are able to modify the code.

News source: C|Net

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