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Open Source Licensing: Risks and Opportunities for University Innovations

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: August 07, 2018

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In today’s digital world — and as TTOs see larger portions of their portfolios occupied by mobile apps, software, and other innovations that build on existing technologies — it’s become critical to gain a solid grasp of the often misunderstood world of open source licensing. It’s a world that is often accompanied by a myriad of risks as well as opportunities.

On the risk side, about half of the code used in all software, including IoT devices, is open source, with dozens of different licensing terms and obligations. And penalties for failure to comply can be severe, including a complete restriction on selling a product incorporating the open source component. Last year’s federal district court decision in Artifex v. Hancom, in which a company was sued for non-compliance with open source licensing terms, brought these risks into sharp relief.

Then there’s the opportunity side — where a growing number of companies are building big valuations using open source business models, using free software to build customer bases for premium services and products.

There’s a lot to learn, and a lot at stake — that’s why Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has developed this detailed program led by open source development and licensing expert Chris Ghere.

Open Source Licensing: Risks and Opportunities for University Innovations

In this eye-opening session, you’ll gain a solid understanding of open source risks, as well as the potential of new business models that lend themselves to commercialization of open source innovations developed by university innovators. Here’s a brief look at the agenda:

  • Review of open source licensing
    • license types
    • typical terms and compliance obligations
    • impact of open source on patent rights
    • notice requirements
  • Tracking open source usage in university innovations & grant applications
  • Common misunderstandings faculty have when dealing with open source communities
  • The frameworks and materials used at the University of Minnesota to evaluate open source licensing opportunities
  • How to choose the best commercialization path for your project

Meet Your Presenter:

Chris GhereChris Ghere
Senior Technology Portfolio Manager
Office for Technology Commercialization
University of Minnesota

Chris Ghere has 15 years of software development  experience, specifically in the areas of social media, streaming video, mobile applications, and back office small business solutions. Chris has developed for both open source and proprietary systems. He began his career as a web programmer and systems designer writing and designing business process management software in the telecommunications industry.

For the past decade, Chris has focused on entrepreneurship and bringing early-stage software technologies to market. Additionally, he is interested in early-stage company financing and investing, and has worked directly with investor groups and consulted for start-ups on their business strategies and raising investment capital. Chris works for the University of Minnesota as a Senior Technology Portfolio Manager managing the University’s software and digital assets portfolio.

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