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Open Source and Free Software 2014: Benefits, Risks and Challenges

 
Author(s): Lawrence Rosen, Lori E. Lesser, Stuart D Levi
Practice Area: Intellectual Property
Published: Dec 2014
PLI Item #: 51544
CHB Spine #: G1208

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. Ms. Lesser advises on all aspects of intellectual property, technology and privacy law, including corporate transactions, licensing, outsourcing and strategic agreements, counseling and litigation in fields including media and entertainment, computer software and technology, financial information, apparel, retail and consumer products, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, internet, mobile and social media services and nonprofits.

  • Ms. Lesser has represented companies including Accenture, Adidas, AIG, Airvana, Alibaba, Alloy Digital, AOL, Deutsche Bank, Ellucian, Fast Retailing, Galen, Google, Interactive Data Corp., ITT, JPMorgan, L-3, Mars, Microsoft, New York Public Library, Nielsen, Novartis, NXP, Owens-Illinois, Sesame Workshop, Sirius XM, TD Bank, Thomson Reuters, Travelers, Tyco, Universal Studios, Viacom, Virgin Mobile, Warner Music and Wyeth (now Pfizer). She has represented private equity firms including Apax, Blackstone, Centerbridge, First Reserve, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Lightyear, Lion Capital, Silver Lake and Vestar.
  • 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, while her IP litigation practice comprises trial and appellate work and WIPO arbitrations.

Ms. Lesser is 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 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 Global Harvard Law School Association and the Executive Committee of the Harvard Class of 1988. She is on the Steering Committee of the Kate Stoneman Project, 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.

Ms. Lesser lectures and publishes frequently on IP topics and co-chairs PLI conferences on technology and software issues.

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 agreements, 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.

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 transactions 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 inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for information technology law.


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.