Jim Jagielski, Bradley Kuhn, Heather Meeker, Rabin Bhattacharya, Keith Bergelt, Mishi Choudhary, and Eben Moglen hold an open and engaging discussion on patents and open source to uncover the complexities associated with each. The panel discusses the effect of open source software on patents, open sourcing software that already has a patent on it, what happens to other company patents if open sourced patented software is developed, and more. After the discussion, there will be time for a Q&A. Come ready with your questions about patents and open source.
Jim Jagielski is a well-known and widely acknowledged expert and visionary in open source, an accomplished coder, and a frequent, engaging presenter on all things open, web, and cloud related. As a developer, Jim has made substantial code contributions to just about every core technology behind the internet and web. In 2012, he was awarded the O’Reilly Open Source Award and in 2015 received the Innovation Luminary Award from the EU. He is best known as one of the developers and cofounders of the Apache Software Foundation, where he has served as both chairman and president and where he’s been on the board of directors since day one. Jim serves as president of the Outercurve Foundation, was a director of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), and works at Capital One as a senior director in the Tech Fellows program. He credits his wife Eileen in keeping him sane.
Bradley M. Kuhn is the president and distinguished technologist at Software Freedom Conservancy, on the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation, and editor-in-chief of Copyleft.org. He’s been a part of the software freedom movement since 1992. Previously, he worked as a system administrator and software developer for various companies, taught AP computer science, served as executive director of FSF, led FSF’s GPL enforcement, launched its associate member program, invented the Affero GPL, was president of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and has been a primary volunteer and full-time staffer at the Conservancy. He earned his BS in computer science from Loyla University in Maryland and an MS in computer science from the University of Cincinnati. His master’s thesis discussed methods for dynamic interoperability of free software programming languages. An excerpt from his thesis won the Damien Conway Award for Best Technical Paper in 2000. Bradley also received an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2012 in recognition for his lifelong policy work on copyleft licensing. He has a blog, is on pump.io, and cohosts the audcast Free as in Freedom.
Heather Meeker is a partner in O’Melveny & Myers’s Silicon Valley office, where she advises clients on technology transactions and intellectual property matters, including mergers and acquisitions. Heather’s latest book, Open Source for Business (2015), is a handbook for lawyers, engineers, and businesspersons on open source licensing in business.
Rabin Bhattacharya is a director and assistant general counsel at Capital One, where he has worked for the past four years. Rabin manages all of Capital One’s patent prosecution and licensing activities, serves as Capital One’s intellectual property subject-matter expert for corporate transactions, and provides general legal advice on the adoption of new technologies for financial products. Prior to becoming an attorney, He served as a chief scientist at Philips in the Netherlands, where he both invented and oversaw the research of new solid state lighting systems. Rabin received his JD from Georgetown University, his PhD and MA in electrical engineering from Princeton University, and his BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College.
Keith Bergelt is the CEO of Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent nonaggression community in history, organized to support freedom of action in Linux as a key element of open source software. OIN has more than 1,900 community members and owns more than 1,100 global patents and applications. The OIN patent license and member cross-licenses are available royalty free to any party that joins the OIN community. Prior to joining OIN, Keith served as CEO of two hedge funds formed to unlock the considerable asset value of intellectual property in middle market companies. Previously, he served as a senior advisor to the technology investment division at Texas Pacific Group. Keith also headed business development, IP, and licensing for Cambridge Display Technology and established and served as general manager of the Strategic Intellectual Asset Management business unit and director of Technology Strategy at Motorola.
Mishi Choudhary is the legal director at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), where she is the primary legal representative of many of the world’s most significant free software developers and nonprofit distributors, including Debian, the Apache Software Foundation, and OpenSSL, and consults with and advises established businesses and startups using free software in their products and service offerings in the US, Europe, India, China, and Korea. Mishi is also an attorney in good standing admitted to practice in New York State. She is the founder of SFLC.in, which under her direction has become the premier nonprofit organization representing the rights of internet users and free software developers in India. Since then, she has divided her time between New York and New Delhi, where she previously she practiced as a High Court and Supreme Court litigator. As of 2015, Mishi is the only lawyer in the world to simultaneously appear on briefs in the US and Indian Supreme Courts in the same term.
Mishi started working with SFLC following the completion of a fellowship during which she earned her LLM from Columbia Law School and was a Stone Scholar. In addition to an LLM, she has an LLB degree and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delhi. Mishi is a member of the Bar Council of Delhi, licensed to appear before the Supreme Court of India, all the State High Courts in India, in the State of New York, and before the Southern District of New York. In 2015, she was named one of the Asia Society’s 21 young leaders building Asia’s future. In 2016 she was selected as an Aspen Fellow as part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Eben Moglen is a professor of law at Columbia Law School and the founder of the Software Freedom Law Center. Eben began building software as a professional programmer at age 13. He worked as a designer of advanced computer programming languages at IBM from 1979 to 1985. In 1991, he represented Philip Zimmerman, the developer of PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”), who was threatened with prosecution by the US government for making strong encryption free software that everyone could use. In 1993, Eben joined forces with Richard M. Stallman to provide world-class legal representation and expertise to the free software movement. With Stallman, he conceived, wrote, and created a public process for discussion and adoption of GPLv3, the current version of the world’s most widely used free software license.
In addition to his work with free software developers, Eben has advised major IT companies and national governments around the world. In 2010, he testified before the European Commission on the FOSS consequences of Oracle Corporation’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems and before the US Congress on Internet privacy and consumer protection. He has appeared numerous times on software- and privacy-related issues as amicus curiae before the US Supreme Court. Eben earned his PhD in history and his law degree at Yale University. After law school, he clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the US District Court in New York City and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the US Supreme Court. He has taught at Columbia Law School since 1987 and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Virginia. In 2003, he was given the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award for efforts on behalf of freedom in the electronic society. Eben is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the United States Supreme Court.
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