FOSS can be seen as a new kind of legal system that facilitates
sharing rights in code. Viewed in this way, FOSS can benefit
from greater public knowledge of code origins and licensing
rules. My talk will focus on practical guidance for projects seeking
to improve legal certainty in the code they write and use. I
will conclude with some longer-term institutional proposals.
Open Invention Network (OIN) has collaboratively unveiled the free Linux Defenders program, which is designed to make prior art more readily accessible to patent and trademark office examiners, as well as increase the quality of granted patents and reduce the number of second-rate patents. Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN, will demonstrate how to use the program and discuss its benefits.
Trademark law is designed to prevent confusion in the market place but understanding how it can benefit the FOSS community can often be confusing. This panel will discuss whether it is useful to register a trademark and, if so, how to permit its use by others. Various policies and enforcement strategies will be evaluated from corporate and non-profit perspectives, often in strong disagreement.