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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Alt Legal WebinarOpen Source: The Trademark Awakens

Alt Legal Team | March 01, 2021
2 min read

Open-source software is widely utilized to develop new products and enhance existing products, as well as offer an alternative or complement to proprietary offerings by individuals, organizations, and businesses. Often misunderstood as a financial qualifier, “free” and open-source software refers to the freedoms provided to downstream licensees. The rights holder of open-source projects often license the projects to specifically give users the ability to inspect, modify, and enhance the underlying source code. While these projects are seemingly at odds with most intellectual property rights, trademarks are not only a great means of protecting them: in fact, trademarks are often the only protectable asset for open source projects, including viral “copyleft” licenses.

In this webinar, Mitesh Patel of Hopkins & Carley explores common trademark issues that arise from use of open-source software and explains considerations for working with clients utilizing open source. Topics Mitesh will cover include:

  • Reviewing open source licenses for trademark terms,

  • Best trademark practices for managing open source software projects and licenses,

  • Implications of using protected trademarks of open source projects, and

  • How to balance enforcement of trademark rights with open-source community principals.

Watch recording here (free registration required).

You can download all of the webinar materials here.


Not sure what copyleft is? Learn more about copyleft and open-source licensing here.

For more information about starting and running your own firm, check out this webinar.

For more information about nontraditional trademarks like the ones Mitesh mentioned, check out this recording from Alt Legal Connect 2020.

For more about protecting your trademarks from genericide, check out this recording from Alt Legal Connect 2020.

Speaker Bio:

Mitesh Patel is a member of Hopkins & Carley’s Intellectual Property and Corporate practice group where he works with clients on domestic and international trademark prosecution and enforcement, and advises clients in relation to branding and advertising, internet law, and technology transactions. Mitesh previously served as adjunct professor for the University of San Francisco’s School of Management where he taught courses on the Legal & Regulatory Environment of Business, and was a supervising attorney at the Lincoln Law School Intellectual Property Clinic in San Jose. Mitesh is an avid car and motorcycle enthusiast, often settling for smaller scale Lego® brick versions of vehicles that would be otherwise impractical to garage from his home in the Bay Area (such as the Millennium Falcon).

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