"It's also worth noting that the software industry, and Microsoft itself, was enjoying significant profit and growth before software patents had even been deemed permissible in the United States. Ramji cited Microsoft's collaboration with the Samba project as an example of a situation where Microsoft encouraged interoperability by agreeing to license patents to an open source project under more permissive terms. That agreement, however, was practically mandated by the European Commission under the terms of its 2004 antitrust ruling against Microsoft. It seems unlikely that Microsoft would agree to such terms in the future if not forced to do so. The agreement also required key Samba developers to sign controversial nondisclosure agreements. When members of the audience were invited to question the panelists, Samba developer Jeremy Allison stepped up to the microphone and criticized Microsoft's refusal to provide adequate clarity about which protocols can be safely implemented by third-parties without having to first obtain patent licenses. Ramji suggested that Microsoft's Open Specification Promise could potentially serve as a vehicle for providing clarity on the issue, but he acknowledged that Microsoft can and should do more to provide predictability about which of its technologies are covered by patents."