Microsoft Community Promise, and the OSP
Microsoft has issued various "promises" and "commitments" regarding the non-enforcement of their software patents for certain types of implementations of their languages and file formats such as .NET, C#, Mono, OOXML, Moonlight, and things they've worked on with Novell.
Opinions differ on the level of safety provided by these promises.
 Covered technologies
 What if Microsoft sells the patents to a troll?
(Text from Sun pact, NOT from MS promises) If either Party assigns any patent that it owns or controls or any right to enforce such patent, the assigning Party shall require as a condition of any such assignment that the assignee covenant not to sue or otherwise seek recovery from (i) the other Party or its Authorized Licensees as set forth in Sections II.1 and (ii) the other Party as set forth in Sections II.2 with respect to such patent.
 The promises
 Microsoft Open Specification Promise
 Microsoft Community Promise
Doesn't cover partial implemenations.
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- Microsoft Open Specification Promise
- Wikipedia article on the OSP
- 2008: Microsoft's Open Specification Promise: No Assurance for GPL - response from the SFLC
- Microsoft Community Promise - which mostly supersedes the OSP
- Community Commitments - Microsoft & Novell Interoperability Collaboration
- 2007: Patent threat looms large over OOXML
- Grokdoc's review
- 2008-02-??: IP Issues with OOXML - Who's Afraid of the GPL?, by Brendan Scott
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