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Open Source and Free Software 2015: Benefits, Risks and Challenges

Author(s): Lawrence Rosen, Stuart D. Levi, Lori E. Lesser, Heather J. Meeker
Practice Area: Intellectual Property
Published: Dec 2015
PLI Item #: 59187
CHB Spine #: G1250

Lori Lesser is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she practices in the Litigation Department and is Head of the Intellectual Property Transactions Practice and Co-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. Lori advises on all aspects of intellectual property, technology and privacy law, including corporate transactions, litigation, licensing, outsourcing, strategic agreements and counseling.

Her IP transactional experience includes mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and secured financings, bankruptcy and restructurings, joint ventures, licensing, outsourcing, counseling and other strategic agreements. Her IP litigation practice comprises trial and appellate work and WIPO arbitrations.

Ms. Lesser is also consistently recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America, for which she has been named the “Information Technology Lawyer of the Year” for New York City. She has been listed in the “Top 50 Under 45” U.S. IP Lawyers (IP Law & Business magazine), the “Top 45 Under 45” U.S. women lawyers (The American Lawyer), and “The 20 Most Influential Women in IP Law” (Law360). She has been ranked in New York City’s top 100 lawyers and top 50 women lawyers by Super Lawyers. She has received the Burton Award for legal writing and the Award of Excellence from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Her IP work in private equity deals has been featured on the cover of IP Law & Business.

Ms. Lesser has served as a David Rockefeller Fellow for New York City and corporate partner for GreaterNY and serves on the boards of the Partnership Fund for New York City and the Citizens Budget Commission. She is President of the Harvard Law School Association of NYC and serves on the Executive Committee of the Harvard Class of 1988. She is on the Advisory Board of ChIPs (chief IP counsel), the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica, the Leadership Council of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies, and the Hunter College Pre-Law Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Ms. Lesser graduated from Harvard University (A.B., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, 1988) and Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1993).

Stuart D. Levi is co-head of Skadden’s Intellectual Property and Technology Group. He has a broad and diverse practice that includes outsourcing transactions, technology and intellectual property licensing, branding and distribution agree- ments, cloud computing agreements, technology transfers, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Mr. Levi also counsels clients on a variety of issues, including website and technology policies, intellectual property matters, privacy issues and legislative compliance. His background in computer science and the information technology industry allows Mr. Levi to understand the technology and business drivers underlying agreements and transactions in this area.

Projects on which Mr. Levi has worked include representing:

  • a global financial institution in connection with a multi-country branding and product initiative;
  • MetLife, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of the naming rights for MetLife Stadium (home of the NY Jets and NY Giants);
  • Barclays Capital in connection with the outsourcing of payroll services to ADP;
  • American Express in connection with its participation in the Isis mobile commerce initiative;
  • Travelers Insurance in connection with cloud computing issues;
  • Citigroup Inc. in a multiyear $2.5 billion deal to outsource business process services to Tata Consulting Services;
  • Citigroup Inc. in a multiyear $500 million deal to outsource information tech- nology and application development services to Wipro Limited;
  • The National Hockey League in connection with various new media projects;
  • The Hartford Insurance Company in connection with the outsourcing of human resources services; and
  • The McGraw-Hill Companies in connection with the licensing and implementation of an ERP system.

Prior to joining Skadden, Mr. Levi was director of intellectual property for Reuters America Inc. and a vice president of Reuters NewMedia Inc. In these positions, he was responsible for all of Reuters’ technology and intellectual property matters. He also negotiated Reuters’ early stage investments in Yahoo!, Infoseek and Sportsline.

Mr. Levi is involved in Internet policy setting in his capacity as general counsel to the Internet Society, the umbrella organization for many of the Internet standard-setting bodies.

Mr. Levi has written and spoken on numerous Internet and e-commerce issues, and each year he co-chairs the Practising Law Institute’s Open Source Institute and speaks at the PLI Outsourcing Seminar. He was selected as a member of Law360’s 2012 Privacy/Consumer Protection Editorial Advisory Board. Mr. Levi has been named by Chambers USA as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” since 2004 and by Chambers Global as one of the “World’s Leading Lawyers” in technology transac- tions each year since 2002. In 1999, he was selected by Crain’s New York Business for its list of “Forty Under Forty — New York’s Rising Stars,” where he was cited for his work in Internet law. In addition, Mr. Levi repeatedly has been selected for inclu- sion in The Best Lawyers in America for information technology law.


J.D., Harvard Law School, 1986 (cum laude)

B.A., Computer Science and Political Science, Columbia University, Columbia College, 1983 (magna cum laude)

Bar Admissions

New York

Representative Authorships

“A Look At Recent Developments In Cybersecurity Policy,” Law360, May 15, 2012

“The 2nd Circ. Stance on ‘Hot News’ Misappropriation,” Law360, July 5, 2011

“Applying the CAN-SPAM Act to Social Networking Sites,” Law360, June 22, 2011

Outsourcing: A Practical Guide to Law and Business, Practising Law Institute, February 2011

“Privacy and Online Data Collection: At a Crossroads?” The National Law Journal, January 31, 2011

“Cloud Computing — Understanding the Business and Legal Issues,” Practical Law Publishing Limited and Practical Law Company, Inc., March 2010

Heather Meeker is a partner in O’Melveny & Myers’ Silicon Valley office. Meeker advises technology clients on intellectual property matters, including licensing and collaboration arrangements, software copyright and patent issues, technology procurement, open source licensing strategies, and intellectual property issues in investments, mergers and acquisitions. She is an internationally-known specialist in open source software licensing.  She received the prestigious IP Vanguard Award for private practice from the Intellectual Property Section of the California state bar for 2016.   Best Lawyers named her an IT lawyer of the year for 2018.  The Daily Journal named Meeker to its “Top 100 Women Lawyers in California” in 2013, and has named her twice to its “25 Top IP Portfolio Managers (Licensing) in California.” Her latest book, Open Source for Business, is a definitive handbook for lawyers, engineers, and businesspersons on open source licensing in business.  She is a member of the Advisory Council for the American Law Institute’s projects on Principles of the Law of Software Contracts (2010) and Restatement of Law, Copyright (ongoing).

Lawrence Rosen is both an attorney and a computer specialist. He is founding partner of Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm that specializes in intellectual property protection, licensing and business transactions for technology companies.

In addition to this law practice, Larry also served for many years as general counsel of the non-profit Open Source Initiative (OSI). He currently advises many open source companies and non-profit open source projects, including as member of and counsel to Apache Software Foundation and as a member of the board of directors of Open Web Foundation.

Larry currently serves on the board of directors of International Characters, and on the advisory boards of SpikeSource, Black Duck Software, and Jaspersoft. Larry's book, Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law, was published by Prentice Hall in 2004. He is a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.

Before he became an attorney, Larry was a computer technologist. He managed computer activities and taught computer programming and data base design at Stanford University, later going into industry where he coordinated the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of data communications products. In addition to helping bring a number of technology companies to profitability, Larry also served for many years as chair and member of the board of directors of Silicon Valley Credit Union, and has helped form and served on the boards of several non-profit charitable and mutual benefit organizations. He received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, went to graduate school in computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his law degree from Santa Clara University. His law firm has offices in Ukiah and Los Alto Hills, California, and on the web.

Larry often publishes and speaks around the world on open source and intellectual property issues.