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Microsoft spins out intellectual property business

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Microsoft has spun out an intellectual property business unit it acquired two years ago, apparently to control the company's costs.

Working in tandem with Enterprise Ireland and a trio of entrepreneurs, Redmond has turned its Software Licensing and Protection (SLP) Services unit into a business called InishTech. InishTech will assume responsibility for some 120 customers that include Microsoft's Windows eHome Division, with Microsoft retaining a minority stake in the company.

The move was managed by Microsoft's IP Ventures, a four-year-old operation that usually spins out and licenses Microsoft Research's thinking to entrepreneurs and businesses. This is believed to be the first time a functioning Microsoft business unit has been cut loose by IP Ventures - and at such a tender age too.

SLP was created in 2007 from the acquisition of Secured Dimensions who, at the time, Microsoft said had unique .NET protection technology. SLP Services lets developers insert license management and enforcement into their software. The components include a server, APIs, and online service.

Microsoft's IP Ventures business unit director Sharieff Mansour reportedly explained the unusual move saying that: "All the product teams are having to make tough choices in determining what's core to their business." ®

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