IPR tracking methodology

IPR tracking methodology

This Report on the proposed IPR tracking methodology (with license CC by-sa) is the Deliverable A1.D2.1.4 of the Qualipso project Fiche Plume (Quality Platform for Open Source Software). Authors : Luc Grateau (INRIA), Magali Fitzgibbon (INRIA), Guillaume Rousseau (INRIA), Stéphane Dalmas (INRIA).

Summary of the document

Improving the legal quality and legal safety of components or component-based software released under open source licenses is globally considered as a key issue for open source software communities among others. The QualiPSo project is addressing these questions in the "Legal Issues" activity, contributing to enhance the awareness of the open source ecosystem to these issues.

This document aims to provide a general, conceptual framework for Intellectual Property Rights Tracking (IPRT) in Component-Based and Collaboratively Developed software. The proposed methodology is however as generic as possible and should apply in other frameworks (such as hybrid software or even fully proprietary software).

The IPRT methodology considers the licensing in process (when reusing preexisting components) and the licensing out process (for the distribution and exploitation schemes). It describes the key elements that have an impact on the legal status of the sofware: the so called "good IPR development practices" are of tremendous importance.

The objective is to look at the software development process from the legal perspective, in order to achieve software development with a controlled legal status, which is compliant with
distribution and exploitation models of the software as defined by its editor(s)/owners. The compliance is checked during audit phases. It allows to determine risks associated to unclear chains of rights and obligations and to cover those risks with appropriate actions (technical, legal, insurance).

In section 2, the goal and objective of an IPRT methodology are presented as well as the main concept for IPRT, the Legal Status of Software. Section 3 proposes an IPRT methodology and finally, the last section describes the audit module, with the key elements that have an impact on the legal status of the software. This module is an example of IPRT methodology implementation, it has been tested on the PALETTE EU project and on DIET.

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