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ClearType licensing issues RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'd like to know whether it's legal or not to implement Cleartype in a Windows application. (I need to do so because I do my own text rendering for reasons that are't important here). Since Microsoft licenses the cleartype patents for other OS's and devices this seems to indicate that they are OK with an application implementing Cleartype as long as it runs on Windows. Where should I ask this?

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009 8:07 PM

Answers

  • I have wondered about this as well. Using Internet Explorer (not Firefox or in my case Opera) you need to go to http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing/ and look up ClearType under keyword(s) in the Search IP Catalog. You should see "Showing 1 results for your search criteria" under that click on the "ClearType" heading which is a hyperlink. From there you will see a number of tabs.

    It does not appear that they have made any provisions for this sort of scenario you and I have considered. I wrote them in the past and they never replied. I thought to look into the matter once again, however.

    Looking over their check list of things to do they want you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Hmm, I'm not sure I want to do that until I know what purpose it serves. What would I be agreeing to? I am not looking to license Microsoft trade secrets. I am looking to license Microsoft patents. I'm just interested in the patents. So one must ask, What is this non-disclosure agreement all about? What they want you to do is potentially dangerous in that secrets are forever, patents expire. It is conceivable that they may only want certain _clearly defined and specific_ aspects of the business end of the relationship kept confidential, but that would be speculation on my part. It seems more likely to me that they want everything hermetically sealed in their favor, and the keyword here is "in their favor" and not yours.

    Actually, Microsoft did write me, but that was only after I threatened to sue them. All they told me was _without_ apology that the matter was assigned to someone who was inexperienced. The next letter I wrote fell once again into a black hole. Why did I see that coming? because I knew in my heart they were lying to me. I never received any notice indicating "does not compute" or anything to that effect to say I had inputted the information incorrectly. It would have been better for them to have said that. They don't seem to realize that this sort of behavior is uncivilized. They are a law firm and they know what they are doing. As adults you would figure they would know better.

    The handwriting may be in fact on the wall. They don't appear to be all that there for you though the brochure looks nice. You would think it is possible to license Microsoft technology given that they advertise this fact, but if they aren't even going to respond to an inquiry, that's pathetic (as in base).

    You may just have to wait for the patents to expire. If you do get some traction, I would certainly be interested in hearing about it provided that you didn't have to sign your soul away in the NDA. I wouldn't want to get you into any legal trouble.

    At times like this I wish I was an attorney so that my opinions, feelings, and observations mattered. I don't want to feel ill of them. I just want to do business.


    I invent because I'm an inventor!
    Friday, November 20, 2009 1:13 AM

All replies


  • Hi,

    Thank you for your post!  Unfortunately I am not able to determine which forum or newsgroup is best suited for your question.

    Can you provide me a little more detail in regards to which operating system you are using?

    Have a nice day!!!!!


    Swapnil Tier 2 Application Support Server and Tools Online Operations Team
    Tuesday, October 20, 2009 8:16 PM
  • The operating system is irrelevant, I'm developing an application, I could be cross-compiling from Solaris for all you care. My target application will run on Windows XP/Vista/7. I have no issues with the development. The problem is my application may infringe on some Cleartype patents. So I'm wondering if this infraction exists if my application is gonna run on Windows anyway (Since Microsoft already sells the rights to use Cleartype technology with any copy of Windows). I would say this is the case but I need confirmation.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:20 PM
  • Can I get an answer on this, please?
    Monday, October 26, 2009 12:20 PM
  • I have wondered about this as well. Using Internet Explorer (not Firefox or in my case Opera) you need to go to http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing/ and look up ClearType under keyword(s) in the Search IP Catalog. You should see "Showing 1 results for your search criteria" under that click on the "ClearType" heading which is a hyperlink. From there you will see a number of tabs.

    It does not appear that they have made any provisions for this sort of scenario you and I have considered. I wrote them in the past and they never replied. I thought to look into the matter once again, however.

    Looking over their check list of things to do they want you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Hmm, I'm not sure I want to do that until I know what purpose it serves. What would I be agreeing to? I am not looking to license Microsoft trade secrets. I am looking to license Microsoft patents. I'm just interested in the patents. So one must ask, What is this non-disclosure agreement all about? What they want you to do is potentially dangerous in that secrets are forever, patents expire. It is conceivable that they may only want certain _clearly defined and specific_ aspects of the business end of the relationship kept confidential, but that would be speculation on my part. It seems more likely to me that they want everything hermetically sealed in their favor, and the keyword here is "in their favor" and not yours.

    Actually, Microsoft did write me, but that was only after I threatened to sue them. All they told me was _without_ apology that the matter was assigned to someone who was inexperienced. The next letter I wrote fell once again into a black hole. Why did I see that coming? because I knew in my heart they were lying to me. I never received any notice indicating "does not compute" or anything to that effect to say I had inputted the information incorrectly. It would have been better for them to have said that. They don't seem to realize that this sort of behavior is uncivilized. They are a law firm and they know what they are doing. As adults you would figure they would know better.

    The handwriting may be in fact on the wall. They don't appear to be all that there for you though the brochure looks nice. You would think it is possible to license Microsoft technology given that they advertise this fact, but if they aren't even going to respond to an inquiry, that's pathetic (as in base).

    You may just have to wait for the patents to expire. If you do get some traction, I would certainly be interested in hearing about it provided that you didn't have to sign your soul away in the NDA. I wouldn't want to get you into any legal trouble.

    At times like this I wish I was an attorney so that my opinions, feelings, and observations mattered. I don't want to feel ill of them. I just want to do business.


    I invent because I'm an inventor!
    Friday, November 20, 2009 1:13 AM
  • I know the feeling. I feel for you. I sincerely hope that I have given you something useful.
    I invent because I'm an inventor!
    Friday, November 20, 2009 1:17 AM