Limited Indemnity?

Help me here. I thought one of the key advantages of buying software from a corporation was they protect you from patent claims - part of something called "indemnification". It's what Sun did with Kodak when Kodak managed to persuade a Rochester court that a patent they bought was valid and infringed by the Java environment (despite the prior art). Sun took the $90M bullet and saved Java developers and deployers from having to change anything.

So why exactly are all Microsoft's customers being told to upgrade Office or face a lawsuit? Microsoft lost the case, paid damages but does not appear to have bought a license to the patent. So all its customers remain at risk from a patent lawsuit themselves, unless they update their software to use Microsoft's work-around. Did one of the world's richest and most aggressive companies just fail to indemnify their customers? Surely not.

Comments:

Perhaps Microsoft is trying to make this a bad experience for users while lining up to do something else? Pure speculation. alan.

Posted by Alan Hargreaves on February 07, 2006 at 09:57 AM PST #

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