Patent GC’s team is well-versed in the myriad issues surrounding the use of open source software (OSS) in today’s business environment. As former in-house, IP attorneys, we understand that OSS issues are both legal and operational in nature, and therefore, require customized solutions that suit the unique needs of each company. We have driven the design and implementation of internal OSS policies and procedures within numerous companies, working collaboratively with key stakeholders to ensure workable processes that manage OSS use and risk; and we will leverage this experience to support our clients in the same efforts.
Our open source software services include:
Educating key stakeholders (from the C-suite to various operational teams) about the potential pitfalls associated with OSS is a good starting point in developing an OSS compliance and risk mitigation plan for your business. Patent GC can assist you by creating and/or conducting internal training programs around the management and use of OSS. We can also advise the employee(s) tasked with developing corporate OSS policies and procedures.
Policies and Procedures
Our attorneys can draft OSS policies and procedures that are tailored to meet the specific needs of your company. We can also support clients in developing and implementing processes for managing OSS licensing compliance, which typically are developed by collaborative teams within a company and include project managers or lead employees from various operational teams (software developers, release engineers, product management, etc.).
Patent GC can help you develop a compliance system for managing OSS license use based on common license types and their related risks, including internal policies around who can approve license use within the company and the criteria upon which such decisions should be based. If a particular license presents unusual terms, we can review its terms, evaluate risks and make a recommendation on use. Likewise, if licenses are red-flagged for compliance reasons, we can assist you in exploring the various alternatives. Finally, we can help you prepare a company statement that illustrates your commitment to abiding the rules of the OSS community.
While there is no fee to use OSS, many OSS licenses have requirements for attribution or providing a copy of the OSS license to your licensee when your product includes OSS. We can help develop release instructions for your team and advise them on how to comply with different license requirements.
Audits and Remediation
With your budget in mind, our team can recommend an appropriate audit plan. We can also guide you on how to respond to the discovery of unexpected OSS in your product, including working with you to develop a system for tracking the use of OSS in your products.
Contact us to learn more about our on-demand, IP counsel services and open source software experience.