David L. Hayes
Partner, Intellectual Property
Based in Silicon Valley and having significant market share of software company clients, Fenwick was one of the first law firms in the world to confront open source issues. Nearly two decades later, our attorneys now have vast experience in guiding clients of all sizes—from open source startups to Fortune 500 companies—on navigating the complex issues of open source and IP ownership.
Our effective guidance on open source stems beyond our legal expertise; it is deeply informed by our attorneys' technical backgrounds and active involvement in the open source community. Many of our attorneys have programming and engineering backgrounds, including direct open source programming experience. This deep technical knowledge is often a key requirement for effective counseling on the more complicated open source issues, because our attorneys fully understand the open source components being used and how they relate to other software/firmware components in the system being analyzed.
In addition, Fenwick attorneys have contributed comments to the various GPL versions, including significant contributions to the current version, GPLv3 (released in June 2007). Therefore, we are fully versed in the nuances of complying with the GPL, as well as how to create IP value while still incorporating open source solutions into company products.
Our wide range of open source expertise includes: