November 3rd & 4th, 2023
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Software Patents: Global Trends

SeaGL 2017

In the developer community, nobody cares where their collaborators are physically located. It’s a completely different story for legal practitioners and others who look at the licenses, patents and treaties that dictate what’s feasible, what’s expensive and what’s impossible – or even illegal. Software production has become rapid, diverse and global and in many instances, regulators have been struggling to keep up. While lawmakers, treaty drafters and standards setting organizations may feel ready for action, many of their proposed actions need considerably more input from global free and software projects and companies.

Project leaders and company executives need a high level understanding of the complex interplay between patents and copyright, the varying scope of patentability in different regions, as well as the impact of governmental and international bodies seeking to simplify or regulate the international production and use of software. This talk will give the audience a feel for current trends and offer resources for further education on many of the specific issues. With a global understanding of where things are headed, the free software community will be ready to impactfully address and respond to proposed policy decisions.


Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson, SeaGL

Deb Nicholson is a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. She is the General Manager at the Open Source Initiative which stewards the Open Source Definition and works to raise awareness and adoption of open source software. She is also a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community. She lives with her husband and her lucky black cat in Cambridge, Massachusetts.