The growth in the number of open source projects, the rapid increase in the use of open source software, and the increasing number (approximately 80) of different and often incompatible open source licenses has created a greater need to understand and address the legal issues associated with open source software. Pillsbury has a nationally recognized team of attorneys at the forefront of these emerging legal issues who assist clients with the entire spectrum of open source issues.
Our Open Source team offers comprehensive open source services, including:
- Developing corporate policies and procedures regarding the use of open source software
- Conducting open source audits
- Development and implementation of open source risk management procedures
- Management and employee seminars on open source issues
For software development companies, providing advice regarding:
- The decision whether to use open source code in the development of a software product;
- The decision whether to release software under an open source license, and if so, the best license to use;
- The compatibility of code under different open source licenses and related licensing issues such as warranty and indemnification issues;
- License compliance issues;
- Strategies to avoid tainting proprietary code with open source code;
- Code analysis of proprietary software to avoid inadvertent use of open source code;
- Patent strategies for protecting open source products;
- Ownership, patent and copyright issues associated with derivative works based on open source software; and more.
- For open source software users, advice regarding whether to use open source software and the associated legal issues, including IP liability issues, indemnification and warranties
In mergers and acquisitions involving software:
- Handling open source due diligence issues;
- Advising regarding the appropriate representations and warranties;
- Assessing potential infringement liability issues and more.