Underscoring its confidence in China\u2019s ability to protect intellectual property, Microsoft has agreed to license three technologies to two Chinese companies.It\u2019s the first time Microsoft has extended its IP Ventures program inside China, the company said Wednesday. The program, which has been active since last year in Europe and the United States, licenses technology to other business or entrepreneurs. The protection of intellectual property has become a prime concern in China as the country has become a manufacturing giant. Microsoft said China has made strides in opening its economy to foreign businesses and has stronger measures to protect intellectual property.Under its IP Ventures program, Microsoft licenses technologies that don\u2019t make it into its own products. In some arrangements, the company has taken an equity stake in new businesses using the intellectual property.Microsoft has agreed to license technologies from its Beijing research lab to Comtech Group and Hunan Talkweb Information System. One the technologies licensed by Talkweb coverts photographs into cartoons, which can be sent to another device via multimedia messaging service. The other two technologies involve mobile photos and mobile bandwidth optimization, Microsoft said.Comtech builds applications for OEMs, which include products such as set-top boxes, portable media players, game consoles and smart phones.Talkweb, which is in part backed by the Chinese government, also creates mobile device software and partners with China Mobile Communications, the world\u2019s largest mobile phone service provider.-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page.\u00a0For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.