Earlier today, Amazon made amendments to stipulations in its AWS (Amazon Web Services) subscriber contract, in the process eliminating a controversial clause which prohibited customers from suing Amazon over patent infringement. The updated version of the AWS customer agreement will come into effect this week on Thursday.
The AWS clause in question, commonly referred to as the ‘non-assert’ clause, had been a contentious point for several years among customers who were interested in using Amazon’s cloud platform, but were unwilling to trust the company with their intellectual property. The decision to strike out the clause from the contract comes in the wake of fast evolving competition from the likes of Microsoft and Google.
To further increase AWS’s attractiveness among customers, Amazon has also introduced a new policy that essentially shields customers from legal action being taken against them over services they run on AWS. However, Microsoft has been offering a policy with similar customer protections since the beginning of the year.
Early customer reaction to Amazon’s AWS policy amendments has been positive. Calvin French-Owen, Founder and CTO of Segment, a data management startup in San Francisco and AWS subscriber since May 2011, endorsed Amazon’s contractual changes:
It’s cool that they are willing to defend companies on their platform against patent trolls.