Open Source Software For In-House Counsel: Best Practices To Adopt And Pitfalls To Avoid

Many companies, knowingly or unknowingly, utilize open-source software (“OSS”) in developing their products and services. Many products on the market today commonly include open-source software components as part of their Software Bill of Materials.

Open-source software frequently finds its way into a company’s products because it is readily accessible, free of charge, and contains features that may be useful without the need for internal development. However, many users of open-source software mistake the free-of-cost nature of this software as also meaning free of legal obligations, which in most cases it is not.  Many users of open-source software are sometimes caught up in mistaken beliefs that they are prohibited from filing for patents and other IP, which is not true. In-house counsel should be fully up-to-date on all the benefits – and pitfalls – of counseling the organization about the use of open-source software in their products and services.

Tune in as Dave Stevens and McCoy Smith will take a deep dive into the world of open-source software, and help teach us how to effectively plan a company’s holistic IP program to protect their strategic assets while utilizing open source software and dealing with their required obligations. Dave and McCoy will discuss:

– Open-source software: what it is, what are the main types of open-source software, and what those licenses do and don’t require when used

– What legal teams should do to understand exactly what open-source software is in their products and what must be done to comply with these licenses

– How open-source licenses may create risks to a company’s vital IP assets: copyright, trade secret, and patents

– How to set up an effective open-source compliance program; and

– Recent developments and hot topics in the law of open source software.

– How to develop your IP portfolio while engaging in open source activities.

– How to educate your employees to be mindful of your open source activities and IP protection goals.

This webinar will help in-house counsel analyze common open source licensing issues and provide helpful guidance and insight to neutralize risks and pitfalls.



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