Reuters reports that the European Commission Competition Director General Philip Lowe has said that Microsoft will have to disclose details of its patents in order for the Commission to impose antitrust sanctions against it. Microsoft must license interoperability information to competitors. The Commission found that Microsoft was failing to do this. In order to establish acceptable licence terms, Lowe has said that the Commission needs to know what of the information needed for interoperability is protected by patent and therefore deserving of remuneration and what of the information is in the public domain and therefore should be available gratuitously.
The IPKat wonders if this highlights a problem with the way in which information abut patents is made available by patent offices. After all, the whole point of patenting is to make the information contained in the specification available to the public.
Interoperability – the story so far here