The Linux Foundation Announces First Legal Summits

The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced it will hold two legal summits over the next 12 months. These conferences will provide the only vendor-neutral forums in which leading attorneys from open source companies and the community can collaborate to understand and solve legal issues surrounding Linux and open source software. The Summits will be hosted and led by the LF’s recently announced legal team Karen Copenhaver and Andy Updegrove.

The first LF Legal Summit will be held October 25 - 26, 2007 in Boston and will only be open to Linux Foundation members and their legal counsel, which will include representation from HP, IBM, Intel, Novell and other leading open source companies. At this invitation-only Summit, members will focus on the issues of greatest common interest with regards to open standards and licensing. Presentations and working sessions will focus on building a legal defense infrastructure for Linux and evolving intellectual property rights policies optimized to support open development models.

For companies and organizations interested in attending this member-only event but who are not currently LF members, please contact membership@linuxfoundation.org.

The next LF Legal Summit will be held in Spring 2008 and will be expanded to include legal experts from all backgrounds to join LF member counsel in a collaborative learning environment. This conference will fill a glaring need for many attorneys who are looking for practical legal guidance on the development and distribution of open source software and the legal framework within which standards can be created to serve both proprietary and open source software models. This Summit is expected to be an annual LF event.

“Many of today’s legal conferences unnecessarily scare or confuse open source users, developers and vendors,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “The LF is able to provide a forum in which it can bring together its members’ legal counsel as well as its own legal team to translate issues into the straight-forward matters they really are and to bring practical education to a wider audience.”

LF legal advisors Copenhaver and Updegrove will leverage the LF’s neutral forum to provide the Linux ecosystem with important information on licenses, standards and patent issues in order to reduce any confusion and foster further innovation and adoption of Linux. Copenhaver and Updegrove will also work with the array of legal talent at LF member companies to coordinate legal resources to best respond to issues facing the platform and other open source projects.

Copenhaver is a partner in Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP ‘s Business & Technology practice focusing on technology transfer and licensing of intellectual property with a specific emphasis on open source business models. Most recently, Copenhaver was executive vice president and general counsel at Black Duck Software, Inc.

Andy Updegrove is a partner and founder of Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a Boston-based technology law firm, and has represented and helped structure more than 80 worldwide standard setting, open source, promotional and advocacy consortia over the past 20 years. He has also represented hundreds of both emerging as well as established technology companies, and is the founder and editor of both the popular website www.consortiuminfo.org and the widely-read Standards Blog.

To learn more about these Summits, please visit https://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Legal_Summit. You can also read the recently launched blog on open source legal matters at www.linux-foundation.org/blogs/legal. This blog will provide updates on these conferences as well as other open source legal matters.

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