Oct 25 Microsoft (MSFT.O) agreed this week to comply with a landmark European Union antitrust decision, ending three years of resistance.
As part of the decision, which won backing last month from the second-highest EU court, Microsoft will ease the way for competition by rivals against its work group servers, which provide printing, file and controls for small business groups.
Microsoft will release interconnection information -- called protocols -- which rival servers need in order to work smoothly with Microsoft Windows desktops.
The main competitor is the open-source, non-profit Samba Group, which makes software.
Samba seeks to work around Microsoft patents protecting its protocols so no royalties will be required.
Microsoft will post to its Website in coming days a list of protocols on which it claims patents.
It provided this summary of patents on the 106 protocols which will be released: - - -
Existing U.S. patents: 32, covering 21 protocols
Existing European patents: Four, covering four protocols
Total existing patents: 36, covering 25 protocols.
- - -
Proposed U.S. patents: 54, covering 28 protocols
Proposed European patents: Ten, covering 10 protocols
Total proposed patents: 64, covering 38 protocols.
- - -
Total proposed and existing patents: 100, covering 63 protocols.
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