Microsoft® Joins LOT Network® to Protect its Community Against Patent Troll Attacks

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LOT Network Inc., a non-profit community of companies that protects its members from costly patent assertion entity (PAE) litigation, announced today that Microsoft has joined the organization.

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Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, Microsoft. “By joining LOT Network, we are expanding our commitment to help our customers manage these risks – a journey we began with the introduction of Azure IP Advantage.”

LOT Network® Inc., a non-profit community of companies that protects its members from costly patent assertion entity (PAE) litigation, announced today that Microsoft has joined the organization. Recognizing that LOT Network is the fastest-growing, most cost-efficient and effective cure for the patent troll problem, Microsoft joins nearly 300 other members across industries that are committed to combating the threat of frivolous litigation from PAEs, also commonly known as patent trolls. PAEs make money by acquiring patents for the sole purpose of monetizing them by suing other companies.

“Developers tell us that they are concerned about the assertion of patents by companies who are not innovators, but instead pursue aggressive monetization campaigns using tactics like e-mail spam and cold calls,” said Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, Microsoft. “By joining LOT Network, we are expanding our commitment to help our customers manage these risks – a journey we began with the introduction of Azure IP Advantage.”

Tim Kowalski, Senior Counsel at Google and LOT Network Board Director said, “Microsoft’s participation today reflects the big-tent nature of LOT Network as an effective platform for addressing abuses of the patent system by PAEs, allowing LOT Network members to better focus on innovating and making great products for their users.”

“Microsoft has one of the largest patent portfolios in the world,” said Ken Seddon, CEO of LOT Network. “We are excited Microsoft has joined our community. We believe their membership in LOT Network is yet another proof point that membership not only preserves the traditional uses of patents, but is the industry solution of choice for reducing risks and costs of PAEs.”

LOT Network was formed in 2014 as the result of efforts by Canon, Red Hat, and Google.

Hideki Sanatake, Deputy Group Executive of Corporate Intellectual Property and Legal Headquarters at Canon, and LOT Network Board Director added: “We truly value the commitment that Microsoft is making to be a responsible IP holder and a member of our community. Microsoft is a highly respected company and an excellent business partner. We’re proud to welcome them to LOT Network and honored that they have made the choice to join us as we work toward a solution to the PAE issue. LOT Network is ideal for any high-tech company who values their patents and who, at the same time, wants to optimize their business for success.”

The convergence of technology across industries results in the emergence of software as a key value driver in areas that were traditionally driven by hardware. For example: automobiles are increasingly computers on wheels, thermostats can be controlled remotely via apps, and manufacturing plants are relying on IoT. This means that companies across all industries are now targets of PAEs, whether software is part of their products or just used to enable their businesses.

“Microsoft sees how quickly technology like cloud computing is transforming the intellectual property landscape on a global scale, and more importantly, the value LOT Network can offer Microsoft and its customers on Azure,” added Seddon. “Visionaries, regardless of their size, are able to recognize opportunities that provide their businesses with a competitive advantage. In the case of LOT Network, our members recognize the strategic advantage our community offers in fighting PAEs.”

The premise behind LOT Network is simple: if and only if a member’s patent asset falls into the hands of a PAE, that member gives others in the community a free license to that patent asset – thereby providing them with immunity against PAE litigation involving that asset. At the same time, LOT Network members can leverage patents in all traditional uses, including through patent assertion, cross-licensing and selling, within and outside of the network. To become a member of LOT Network, every member makes the same commitment and signs the same agreement. This ensures that every member, regardless of size, benefits equally from the community.

“We are very pleased to have Microsoft join LOT Network,” said Michael Cunningham, Chairman of the Board of Directors of LOT Network and Executive Vice President of Red Hat, Inc. “LOT Network’s membership represents an astonishing array of Fortune 500 companies from across the globe and across industries, each taking a stand against the arresting effect that patent assertion entities have on innovation and innovators. We applaud Microsoft’s signing on and urge other companies to join soon, and not be left behind from the substantial protections afforded by LOT Network."

LOT Network is a non-profit organization whose membership costs are tiered based on the member’s annual revenue. Because of LOT Network’s rapid growth over the last year, companies with less than $25 million in annual revenue can now be part of LOT Network free of charge. Membership fees for companies with over $1 billion in annual revenue are capped at $20,000 per year, which is about the cost of one robust patent application filing. With the addition of Microsoft, LOT Network members are now immunized against over 1.35 million assets.

About LOT Network:

LOT Network Inc. is a non-profit community of companies protecting its members from costly Patent Assertion Entity (PAE) litigation. LOT Network members can be permanently immunized to over 1.35 million worldwide patents and counting. LOT Network members include market leaders such as Google, Canon, Red Hat, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, Dropbox, SAP, Pure Storage, Ford, Tesla, Alibaba, and GM, as well as smaller companies across industries. Please visit http://www.lotnet.com to learn more. LOT Network® is a registered trademark of LOT Network Inc.

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Meaghan Shields
for LOT Network
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