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Microsoft Spins Off Intellectual Property

by Robin Pilgrim,, London

08 June 2006

At its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Innovation conference on Monday, Microsoft announced the first spinout of technology from its Microsoft Research Cambridge lab to Skinkers, a London-based startup.

Skinkers, a provider of direct-to-desktop event notification and content delivery solutions, is acquiring technology that will enable it to reach more customers with faster and more reliable service.

As a result of this agreement, Microsoft will get an equity position in the company and an observer seat on the board of directors.

This announcement comes as part of the Microsoft IP Ventures program, which aims to match innovations from its research labs with companies around the globe that can refine and commercialize the technologies into their own products.

Currently more than 30 technologies are available for licensing through IP Ventures, and several companies globally have collaborated with Microsoft to license technology and launch new products in fields as diverse as predictive traffic, digital photography and editing, collaborative agent technology, and wireless communications.

Also during the SME Innovation conference, Microsoft announced that it has closed a second transaction with Irish company Vimio through its ongoing relationship with Enterprise Ireland.

Vimio will collaborate with the Microsoft Research lab in Cambridge and will leverage technology from Microsoft that makes it possible to deliver video in low-bandwidth environments with clearer shape, smoother motion and shorter latency than alternative technologies on mobile devices. It delivers this enhanced performance while requiring less computational resources than do conventional video technologies.

“Microsoft’s IP Ventures program helps us in our continuing goal of assisting Irish companies in achieving strong positions in global markets,” announced Brendan Finucane, executive director of Technology, Automation & Productivity for Enterprise Ireland.

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