Attorney to discuss open source license compliance at tech expo

To address the growing use of open source software (OSS) in automobiles and embedded vehicle modules, Brooks Kushman shareholder John LeRoy will discuss OSS license compliance in the automotive industry during the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Novi, Tuesday to Thursday, Sept. 17-19. The presentation is aimed at all automotive companies, especially suppliers, and will provide insight on understanding and successfully complying with the legal obligations of using OSS.

"Open source license compliance is an issue that affects the automotive industry. If you distribute or sell a product that includes open source, you probably have compliance obligations. The first question is what they are. The second question is how you and your customer are going to meet them," LeRoy said. "While the use of OSS provides immense benefits, it also presents obligations on the distributors and risks for failure to understand and comply with those obligations, including claims for copyright infringement. It can get complicated very quickly, but it is manageable. We can help you understand and comply with your legal obligations associated with using open source."

LeRoy's presentation will provide insight and examples on the different types of OSS licensing requirements; advice on ways to properly understand and stay updated on customer OSS policies; examples of what companies in other industries are doing to maintain compliance; as well as background on the unique aspects of copyright litigation arising from the use of OSS.

"Given the pervasiveness of the use of open sourcing software in the automotive industry, I suspect that an OSS compliant supplier with a robust compliance process will have a unique advantage over its competitors in the not-too-distant future," LeRoy said. "With our intellectual property law focus and ability to evaluate products for use of OSS, Brooks Kushman is uniquely qualified to help automotive companies evaluate and comply with OSS requirements and to protect the company and its customers from liability."

Brooks Kushman can analyze its clients' embedded modules for open source code and counsel its clients on how to effectively comply with the licensing terms that apply to that code. This aspect of Brooks Kushman's practice is staffed with intellectual property attorneys having degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, and experience with the terms of the pertinent open source license agreements and the automotive supply chain.

The Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, held Tuesday to Thursday, Sept. 17-19, at the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi, is the premier showcase for electric and hybrid vehicle technology and innovation. The conference will highlight advances across the powertrain and a wide range of platforms from passenger and commercial to off-highway industrial vehicles. For additional information about the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, visit

Published: Mon, Sep 2, 2013


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