Follow: Email

Over the last year we have seen increasing interest from our global client base in investing in strategic, transformational technology transactions with European counterparties.  These transactions often facilitate access to key technologies, geographies and, of course, data.  In this note we set out 6 key points to keep in mind when planning, negotiating and executing these types of transactions across Europe.

Continue Reading Strategic Technology Transactions in Europe – Considerations for U.S. and Global Companies

A foundation of intellectual property rights (IPR) is that authors and inventors are entitled to some level of exclusivity over their works in the form of copyrights and patents to incentivize innovation; that’s written into the Constitution. However, various voluntary open innovation practices have emerged, highlighting that developers also can benefit by choosing to widely share certain intellectual property in ways that also can help foster innovation.

While there is no “one size fits all approach,” with the growth of artificial intelligence (AI), there has been a trend to similarly facilitate more voluntary data sharing. Especially considering how AI is being used to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other important needs, voluntary open access to data could have a significant impact in the immediate future. However, practices for voluntarily sharing or providing open access to data are still developing and vary widely (in part because of the state of IPR protection for data). These evolving practices create some challenges for data contributors and users alike. However, the challenges often can be overcome by carefully selecting contract terms to govern the data sharing arrangement that factor in the goals and needs of the participants and relevant legal principles.


Continue Reading Look for Voluntary Open Data Practices to Follow Other Open IP Trends

Last week, Covington dispatched a team of connected and automated vehicles (“CAV”) practitioners to participate in the Mcity Congress, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Lawyers from our Technology and IP Transactions, Public Policy, Product Safety and Liability, and Insurance practice groups presented a series of observations and insights around mitigating liability in the CAV industry, and we saw first-hand what’s happening at the cutting edge of CAV technology.
Continue Reading IoT Update: Who’s at the Wheel? Connected and Automated Vehicles Stakeholders Weigh In from the Mcity Congress

MongoDB, the developer of a popular document-oriented distributed database server by the same name, has updated the open source license that applies to versions of its software published after October 16, 2018.

Previously, the MongoDB software was licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License v.3 (“AGPLv3”), which is a “strong copyleft” license. Strong copyleft licenses, among other things, require that the source code for the licensed software (including any modifications) be made available to the public, typically when the software is distributed to third parties. AGPLv3 goes further than other strong copyleft licenses in that the obligation to make source code available is triggered not only when the software is distributed, but also when it is accessed over a computer network, such as the Internet.

In an apparent response to attempts by users of MongoDB to architect their services so as to avoid the obligation to make their source code modifications available under AGPLv3, MongoDB has created a modified version of AGPLv3 (see here for a redline comparison) with broader disclosure and licensing obligations. The new license is called the Server Side Public License v.1 (“SSPLv1”).


Continue Reading Understanding MongoDB’s New Copyleft Open Source License