Fostering Innovation

  • Privacy Models: The Next Evolution

    Posted by Peter Cullen
    General Manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft

    We live in an environment where the amount of data being generated is increasing at a staggering pace. With it we see a corresponding growth in the potential for important benefits, both to us as individuals and as a society, based on using this information.However, in this data-rich world it is becoming clear that today’s privacy frameworks cannot adequately protect consumer privacy; it has become critical that we evolve our thinking with respect to the ways societies protect the privacy of individuals while providing for responsible, beneficial data use.

    Identifying frameworks that support the dual goals of privacy and responsible data use is the motivation for Microsoft’s collaboration with privacy stakeholders from around the world – across governments, private enterprise and civil society. Today, we are pleased to have been able to support the launch of two new white papers: “Data Protection Principles for the 21st Century” and “Data Use and Global Impact” which outline important new thinking on this topic.

    [Read more...]

  • More work needed to protect European Union from patent trolls

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

    In less than a month, European leaders will come together to finalize the draft rules of procedure for the Unitary Patent Court. On Tuesday, a diverse cross-industry coalition of nearly 20 companies and associations urged the European Union to make further amendments to the rules to support innovation, while deterring patent trolls from entering the EU patent space.

    The rules of procedure are the blueprint for the Unitary Patent Court, which will govern patent disputes for most of the EU. If these rules are sound, companies doing business in Europe will be able to innovate more efficiently.

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  • Leading the way on patent transparency

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

    On Thursday, the Administration issued a call to America’s innovation community to help strengthen the patent system by providing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the information, tools and resources it needs to perform its vital function.

    Microsoft applauds and supports these efforts. The U.S. patent system is the engine for our economy, incentivizing the creation of new technologies that are essential to America’s ability to compete in markets around the world. All stakeholders, including those of us in the private sector, have a key role to play in keeping this system healthy.

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  • Strengthen the patent system by invalidating overly broad patents

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

    On Friday, Microsoft filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of affirmance in the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank case. Our interest in this case is to ensure the Supreme Court understands the difference between true technological innovations and the types of business method patents at issue in this case. Adobe and HP joined Microsoft on the brief.

    Simply put, Alice Corp’s patents have nothing to do with software or computer technology. They relate to a method for reducing “settlement risk” in business transactions. They do not advance the state of technology, nor do they allow com­puters to execute the steps of a business trans­action faster, more efficiently or more reliably than they could before.

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  • Microsoft voices support for passage of the Innovation Act

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

    Thursday's overwhelming bipartisan House vote to pass the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) marks a significant milestone toward enactment of common-sense reforms to curb abusive patent litigation. Abusive patent lawsuits create a heavy burden on the U.S. economy — slowing innovation, undermining competitiveness and stunting economic growth.

    H.R. 3309 addresses this urgent problem by striking a balance that deters bad actors while protecting intellectual property rights.

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