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Microsoft Promises Not to Sue

Microsoft recently made a move to “open” up its XML-based file formats for Microsoft Office 2003 and the forthcoming Office 12. These file formats were offered to ECMA International for consideration as a formal open standard. However, the “license” for these file formats was merely a promise not to sue people violating its patents on the use of the file formats. Read more here.

Also see these comments from a legal analyst regarding Microsoft’s Patent Protection Covenant.

Personally, a promise “not to sue” from any large corporation—not just Microsoft—wouldn’t be good enough for me were I a developer. Somehow, I don’t think that many developers are going to feel completely comfortable incorporating Office 2003/12 XML-based file formats into their applications based solely on the Patent Protection Covenant. What happens when (not if) the covenant changes?

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