Wirtschaftskanzlei Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek | Rechtsanwälte, Steuerberater und Notare
01-27-2015

Lawsuits filed due to infringed open source licenses: Open Source due diligence and license management create legal security




More and more lawsuits are filed because of infringed open source licenses. Forgoing open source due diligence and open source license management must be considered negligent in ever-higher frequency nowadays.

Increasingly, enterprises in all industries make use of open source. This shines a new light on risks associated with the infringement of open source licenses, as recently demonstrated by the Versata vs. Ameriprise litigation in the U.S. While the companies litigated about royalty payments for commercial software, it was established that the licensed software contained open source components that are subject to the strict and widespread GNU General Public License 2.0, without the licensor (Versata) even making reference to that. This provided not only the licensee (Ameriprise) a clearly better position in the trial.

The "discovery" of the open source component also arose the interest of the author of the same: U.S. software enterprise XimpleWare does not hesitate to sue Versata, Ameriprise, and numerous further licensees of Versata for infringement of the open source license.

More information you'll find in the Client Information Open Source (PDF, 313 KB, only in German).

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