is licencing some pre-commercial technologies to two Chinese software
start-ups in a move that shows Chinese companies are prepared to take
IPR protection seriously, according to the US giant.

At an event in Beijing last week, Microsoft announced
the first-ever licencing of Microsoft IP-based technologies to two
Chinese software companies, Comtech Group and Hunan Talkweb Information

The two firms specialise in mobile communications and the
technologies licensed were developed by scientists at Microsoft's
research lab in Beijing. Ya-Qin Zhang, corporate VP for Microsoft's
R&D in China said:

The change in the way Chinese companies think about IPRs and
licencing is allowing companies like Comtech and Talkweb to take
advantage of business opportunities in the knowledge economy.”

In 2005 Microsoft launched a programme, called IP Ventures, to give start-ups and entrepreneurs access to pre-commercial IP-based technologies developed in its research labs.

In exchange for getting access to Microsoft's IP, the start-ups help
transform a prototype from Microsoft's research lab into a marketable
product for consumers.

Although Microsoft has used this programme shared its IP with
businesses in Europe and the US, it says this is the first time it has
done so in China.

Back in 2004, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates identified mobile technology as a key research area for its China-based R&D labs.

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