Software and Open Source Licenses


KPPB drafts and reviews software technology license agreements for clients who are either granting or securing rights both within the U.S. and abroad. With the ever-increasing challenges and issues presented by the Internet, e-commerce, social media and freeware it is imperative to control the use of products with thoughtful licensing terms, warranties, indemnities, damages disclaimers and limitations of liability.

A dominating market trend in the software industry is the growing migration to open source software. While software companies continue to issue premium products under proprietary licenses, many are also adopting open source product development and distribution models.  More companies are adopting hybrid approaches, requiring careful review of the open sourc licenses and the use of open source software within proprietary projects.

Whether clients choose a proprietary, open source, or a hybrid licensing model, KPPB can advise and develop the conditions that govern the use and distribution of the software. We match our clients' business goals with an appropriate IP strategy for exploiting new technology including advice on open source software matters, counsel on potential license liability and creation of copyleft licenses, dual licenses, and academic licenses.

A less well understood risk for companies is the use of supposedly “open sources” of training data for the training of machine learning algorithms. KPPB’s attorneys routinely counsel universities and startup companies surrounding issues associated with the use of different sources of training data.  In many instances, training data sources appropriate in an academic setting can complicate technology transfer efforts designed to commercialize the resulting classifiers or models.  We have the experience to advise both universities and technology companies concerning management of these risks and techniques for their mitigation.