Microsoft announced it would launch a way for anybody to swiftly view and search through all of the patents that the company presently holds, reports CNet
. The web-based Patent Tracker allows users to download the entire list of patents owned by Microsoft or its subsidiaries, or to search by region, patent number or patent title.
Microsoft plans to update the tracker tool regularly; however a schedule for the updates hasn’t been set yet. Microsoft’s patent tracker tool fulfills a pledge made by the company’s general counsel, Brad Smith. He had said that Microsoft would make clear its own patent holdings, while urging other companies to do the same.
It’s a part of urge the company is making toward reforms in the U.S. patent system. Microsoft is calling for increased transparency in the current system. More transparency would help with licensing and theoretically limit patent elf lawsuits.