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Azure IP Advantage


Protecting your innovation in the cloud and on the Internet of Things

Reduce risk, innovate with confidence, and operate with freedom in the cloud. Azure IP Advantage provides the industry’s most comprehensive protection against intellectual property (IP) risks.

Build confidently with uncapped indemnification

Build on Azure knowing that you have best-in-industry uncapped defense and indemnification coverage. This extends to open-source technology that powers Azure services, such as Apache Hadoop® used for Azure HDInsight. You don’t have to do or pay anything extra—coverage is available if you need it.

Deter and defend lawsuits with patent pick

Defend against patent lawsuits targeting your innovation with access to a large patent portfolio. You become eligible for this benefit simply by using Azure regularly. If sued, eligible Azure customers can acquire one of the patents that Microsoft makes available to help counter assert against an aggressor. To learn more about how to pick a patent, read the FAQs.

Get broad protection with a springing license

We’re pledging to Azure customers that if we transfer patents to non-practicing entities (NPEs), those patents can’t be asserted against them. Non-practicing entities primarily use patents to generate revenue. While Microsoft doesn’t have a general practice of transferring our patents to NPEs, if it were to occur, a springing license is available to all eligible Azure customers.

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Additional benefits for startups

Startups have unique IP challenges, such as risk from non-practicing entities, which view small companies and startups as soft targets for patent lawsuits. In addition to the benefits available to all Azure IP Advantage customers, qualified startups can also take advantage of:

Frequently asked questions about the Azure IP Advantage program

  • Azure IP Advantage is a program for Azure customers that offers best-in-industry protection against intellectual property (IP) risks. By participating in this program, developers can focus on coding, while you focus on running your business with reduced risk and exposure to IP lawsuits without diminishing your own IP rights.

    This program has three components to help you protect your cloud investments:

    • Uncapped indemnification for customers for IP lawsuits that target first-party Azure-branded services, Azure Sphere, Azure RTOS and Windows 10 IoT, including open source software that we incorporate into these products and services

    • A patent pick from thousands of Microsoft patents to help defend against an IP lawsuit that targets Azure workloads or the software on IoT devices that are connected to Azure

    • A springing license to any Microsoft patent that’s transferred to a nonpracticing entity to protect Azure workloads and the software on IoT devices that are connected to Azure

    Eligibility requirements may apply. For benefits specific to startups, see Startup benefits.

  • We’re working to foster a business environment that values and protects innovation, so that your company and developers are free to focus on building transformative technologies.

  • New IP risks emerge as businesses use the cloud to transform and bring more IoT devices online. If you run services in the cloud or are increasing the number of your connected devices, consider your strategy for addressing IP infringement risk. Choose a cloud platform partner who understands these risks and has a comprehensive plan to help you address them.

  • All Azure customers are eligible to participate in Azure IP Advantage. However, the patent pick and springing license benefits are subject to the eligibility criteria that are described in the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage terms and conditions. The benefits for startups are available through the License on Transfer (LOT) Network.

  • No. Azure IP Advantage is a feature of the Azure platform. No sign-up or enrollment process is necessary for the indemnification that’s included in our standard customer terms for Azure, Azure Sphere, Azure RTOS and Windows 10 IoT software offerings. Nor is sign-up or enrollment required for the springing license and patent pick options if you meet the eligibility requirements that are outlined in the Microsoft Azure IP Advantage terms and conditions. Azure startups that join the LOT Network must agree to the network’s reciprocal springing license commitment and then may choose to receive up to three Microsoft patents through the network. See the Startup benefits section for details.

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