Village Workshop: Open Source Software Perils and Pitfalls

August 23, 2016
August 23, 2016 2:00 PM
3:30 pm
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Are you using open source software, libraries, or components? Most startups do. It makes sense to reuse software libraries that address the same technical problems that you are facing. Doing so saves developer time, development dollars, and reduces the time you need to bring a minimum viable product to market.
However, using open source licensed software components without considering the effects of the terms of the license can have catastrophic consequences for your startup. Various licenses can require that you release the source code for your application or product to the world (including competitors) free of charge. Other licenses can require you to relinquish control of your company’s intellectual property. In some instances, using open source components that have different licenses can result in a license conflict, which would prohibit you from bringing your application to market.
Key Takeaways:

  • How using open source licensed components can impact your company’s valuation.
  • Differences between the more common open source licenses.
  • Unintended consequences of choosing components that have the wrong license for your startup.

About the Speaker


John Lyon is a senior associate at Thomas Horstemeyer, LLP, an intellectual property boutique law firm. John’s practice areas include patents, trademarks, and open source license compliance. Although he John adds value for a wide variety of companies, his favorite clients are the smaller companies, startups, and solo inventors. If you ask John how he got to where he is today, his answer will be “the scenic route.”