Managing IP While Using Open Source: Copyright and Patent Licensing

Assessing Software Options, Mitigating Risk of IP Infringement in Software Development

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to counsel on managing IP while benefiting from using open source. The panel will review the risks of open source and ways to protect IP rights while participating in open source. The panel will also discuss patent issues that arise in open source.


Open source offers many benefits to companies that use it. However, some companies fear that if they incorporate open source into their products or make their code open source they will lose control over its IP or risk litigation.

Many IP issues involved in open source are often overlooked, including significant patent issues. Among these challenges are express and implied patent license grants in open source licenses. Further, while what is patent eligible in the context of software-related inventions is not always clear, open source software can be patented.

IP counsel to companies considering or using open source must determine how to protect IP related to software using open source and how patent provisions of open source licenses impact the company’s IP.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys discusses the risks of using open source software code and how companies can benefit from open source while protecting IP rights. The panel will also review patent issues arising in open source, litigation that has involved open source, and litigation strategies relating to patents and open source.



  1. Risks of open source
  2. Balancing open source and proprietary code—managing and protecting IP software that uses open source
  3. Protection of IP
    1. Copyright protection for open source
    2. Patent protection for open source
  4. Open source license patent issues
    1. Express and implied licenses
    2. Patent license grants
    3. Patent non-assertion clauses
  5. Litigation issues involving patents and open source
    1. Summary of key cases
    2. Patent infringement defense strategies


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Legal risks of using open source software
  • Balancing open source and proprietary code
  • Open source patent issues—licenses, grants and litigation


Gatto, James
James G. Gatto

Open Source Team Leader
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Mr. Gatto is Co-Leader of the firm's Digital Media Industry and Social Media and Games Industry Teams, and Leader...  |  Read More

Meeker, Heather
Heather Meeker

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Ms. Meeker practices in the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice group and is a Founding Portfolio Partner at...  |  Read More

Myles, Gideon
Gideon Myles

Director, Intellectual Property

Mr. Myles is Head of IP at Dropbox where he specializes in a variety of IP issues, including overseeing Dropbox's...  |  Read More

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