12:00 – 12:30 pm PDT – Registration and lunch
12:30 – 2:00 pm PDT – Roundtable discussion
McDermott Will & Emery
275 Middlefield Road, Suite 100
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Free software grants a particular user the freedom to create, run, change, modify, copy and share freely software with the community. Operating under the ideals that all software should not have owners and should be free, organizations such as the Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative have promulgated licenses that have had a profound effect on commercial software development.
Although usually free of licensing costs, the use of free software may have unforeseen or unintended consequences and a concomitant high cost to a commercial organization. As such, companies developing software should be aware that free software or other open source code is not necessarily free to use or to provide for use. Under the terms of embedded licenses, free software licensing may obligate a company to agree to not enforce any intellectual property rights related to or covering the software, as well as require a company to publish its own proprietary source code for any related or derivative works developed using free code.
Activist organizations, including the Free Software Foundation, are attempting to enforce these obligations. The enforcement applies even if a company’s software is patented, if publication of the source code would violate U.S. law and if free software were added to a company’s software by an employee without the company's knowledge. This roundtable discussion will address these issues and provide an overview of the most popular free software licenses, such as the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), including its latest version, Version 3, and the ramifications of using free software.
Mark Itri, Partner and IP Prosecution, Transactions & Strategy Practice Group Head
Ahsan Shaikh, Partner
For more information, please contact McDermott Events.