Tech Transfer Central

Licensing Open-Source Software: Mitigating Potential Pitfalls, Addressing Misperceptions, and Managing Impact on University IP

Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Price: $197
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University faculty, researchers, and students typically utilize open-source software to facilitate research or incorporate into their own innovations because it is easily accessible, free of charge, and contains useful features.

But don’t mistake the free-of-cost nature as also meaning free of legal obligations or the potential to impact your university’s commercialization efforts that incorporate OS code. In addition to copyright and trademark compliance, there may also be complications with funding agencies, patent holders, and your own ability to pursue patents or other forms of IP protection.

On top of that, the issues surrounding open source are often misunderstood by researchers (and sometimes by TTOs), making it essential that you have a solid foundation of OS know-how to answer faculty questions as well as to plot your IP strategy.

There are two primary types of open-source licenses: permissive and copyleft, with many variations within those broader categories. Evaluating each and knowing which license is right for your situation – and what obligations and complications they may introduce – is crucial to  navigating this tricky area.

To help you and your faculty gain a solid understanding of this often misunderstood topic – and incorporate that knowledge into your IP protection plans – we’ve tapped IP attorney Tyson Benson to lead this practical one-hour webinar:

Licensing Open-Source Software

He’ll discuss:

  • What is open-source software
  • Different types of open-source software
  • Defining permissive and copyleft licenses
  • Common misperceptions
  • Obligations and compliance related to OS software licensing
  • How open-source software licenses may create risks to a university’s IP portfolio
  • Patents and OS licenses – can they co-exist?
  • How to educate university faculty and researchers to be mindful of open-source activities and the university’s IP goals

Meet your session leader:

Tyson B BensonTyson Benson
U.S. Patent Counsel
ZF Group

Tyson Benson is an intellectual property attorney with over a decade of intellectual property experience.  Tyson has assisted clients ranging from universities to Fortune 500 companies in managing their patent portfolios, negotiating and reviewing open-source licensing agreements, evaluating the validity and enforceability of patents, and providing litigation support. Tyson regularly presents on topics related to patent law, cybersecurity, and open-source licensing.

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