Fostering Innovation

  • Why the CLS Bank case matters

     Posted by Horacio Gutierrez
    Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in the Alice v. CLS Bank, reaffirming that abstract ideas are not eligible for patent protection. The Court correctly distinguished Alice’s invalid business method patents from valid patents that advance technology.

    We applaud the Court for its ruling, and in particular their recognition that the patents in question are not software patents. The Alice claims describe a method for reducing risk in financial transactions, with no connection to any technological innovation.

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  • Microsoft panel explores the policy implications of intelligent systems

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On May 16, Microsoft convened a panel of academic researchers working at the confluence of the technology, humanity and policy aspects of intelligent systems at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The intergenerational conversation brought together professors and their students to explore the implications of the deployment of new intelligent systems in businesses and society and the legal and policy challenges that they present.

    From autonomous vehicles to rescue robots to home appliances, intelligent systems are becoming more commonplace in our society. These systems gather data from their environment and increasingly, without human interaction, automatically act on that information, enabling benefits such as faster responses in crisis situations, more efficient resource management and safer performance of difficult tasks.

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  • Microsoft convenes panel on how the Internet of Things can build sustainable 21st century cities

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On May 14, leading public and private sector experts on data and sustainability gathered at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. to address how cities can leverage technology to offer new services to their citizens, optimize the efficiency of existing services and improve the overall sustainability of their communities.

    Cities are the hearts and souls of our nations, driving our global economy and impacting our environment. With the world’s urban population growing by 1 million people per week, cities are under significant pressure to meet growing demand, modernize aging infrastructure and sustain the health and safety of their citizens under dwindling financial resources.

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  • How today’s creativity will inform our entertainment of the future

    Editor's Note:The following post by Rob Knies originally appeared on the Inside Microsoft Research blog .

    creativity conferenceMary Czerwinski and Kati London of Microsoft Research will be participating in the Creativity Conference, a Washington, D.C., event that will examine how creators and makers are shaping our future.

    What does the “creative process” really mean? Where do creative ideas come from? What is the relationship between creativity and technology?

    Answering these questions, and a host of similar ones, will provide the focus for the second annual Creativity Conference, being held May 2 at The Newseum, in Washington, D.C. The event is designed to underscore the importance of innovation and creativity and will feature a collection of experts from the entertainment, technology, and political realms who will examine the themes of creativity, technology, and the economy. The conference will be streamed live from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. EDT.

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  • Patent litigation reform needed now

     Posted by Horacio Gutierrez
    Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    Microsoft joined nearly 400 companies and associations in calling upon the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve urgently needed patent litigation reform legislation. The Committee is working to forge a well-calibrated compromise aimed at curbing abusive litigation practices and strengthening our patent system. In any compromise there are always areas where one or more of the interested parties wish the outcome would go further, while others feel it might go too far. We certainly feel that way in some respects, but we also recognize that meaningful compromise on important measures, including fee-shifting, a path to discovery reform, and increased transparency, will provide new tools to fight frivolous lawsuits, while still protecting the patent rights of America’s innovators. We strongly believe it is important for this set of reforms to be enacted now.

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