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Your Global Partners in the Business of Innovation

Software Licensing and Open Source

Our team ensure our clients count on us to stay up-to-date with legal trends in protecting their software across various jurisdictions worldwide.


As artificial intelligence and computer capabilities in general continue to evolve, and issues regarding user privacy and security make headline news, software developers need help to make sure they are in compliance with an array of regulations. They also need help getting their products to market and protecting their intellectual property in a fiercely competitive global market.

Pearl Cohen’s Software team is multinational and multilingual. We provide services across all legal aspects of software such as PC and workstation software, mobile apps, web-based applications, and embedded software and firmware. As business-oriented lawyers who understand the software sector, we are also professional dealmakers who find a way to get the deal done.

Our lawyers know how essential software is for daily business procedures, and our clients count on us to stay up-to-date with legal trends in protecting their software across various jurisdictions worldwide. Our areas of expertise include utility patents, design patents, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, end-user license (EULAs), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) agreements, and Open Source Software (OSS) considerations. We also are skilled in the challenging task of protecting mobile apps and use sophisticated approaches to cover both user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) as part of an overall business perspective. We are up-to-date and experienced in navigating the ever-evolving laws and patent office practices regarding patenting software.

We provide services across all legal aspects of PC software, mobile apps, web-based applications, and embedded software and firmware. This includes:

  • commissioned outsourced software development contracts
  • copyright registration of software
  • end-user license agreements (EULAs)
  • analysis and opinions of Freedom to Operate (FTO)
  • transactions to license software
  • patent drafting of software-based inventions
  • software IP rights enforcement
  • SaaS agreements
  • regulations concerning electronic (digital) signatures and their use in complex software applications

Among other segments of the computer and software fields, we have experience protecting:

  • machine learning, artificial intelligence, and neural networks
  • microprocessor and computer architecture, including systems on chip (SoC), embedded systems, memory management, and storage
  • computer networks, including Internet infrastructure and cybersecurity
  • video and image processing, including computer vision, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR)
  • audio processing, including voice recognition and analysis
  • crowdsourcing and “big data”
  • human-machine interface, including natural user interface (NUI) machine-to-machine (M2M) communications
  • social networks and advertising
  • smartphone apps
  • software tools for financial services

The use of Open Source Software (OSS) in companies of all sizes and maturity levels has grown exponentially during the last decade. However, many legal challenges remain that can affect businesses hard if not properly addressed. Businesses require the most experienced legal counsel to understand and navigate through the complexities of OSS licenses.

Pearl Cohen’s Open Source team is unrivaled in its experience of OSS licenses, bringing a profound understanding of the legal risks involved with the use of free/open source software. We help our clients understand the scope and breadth of exposure and take mitigating steps to minimize or eliminate it, making prudent and safe use of free/open source software while protecting their intellectual property.

Clients benefit from our team’s strategic combination of a practical approach, years of hands-on experience, and a deep understanding of client technology, particularly computer code.

Our comprehensive OSS services include:

  • Legal guidance on compliant use of popular OSS, while maintaining the confidentiality of proprietary software code
  • Legal advice on the integration of GPL & LGPL software with proprietary software code
  • Drafting, establishing, and implementing corporate policies on the use, development, integration, and distribution of OSS
  • Conducting Due Diligence review of OSS and its use
  • Advising corporate OSS compliance boards on prudent use and integration of open source software
  • Legal opinions regarding OSS
  • Training sessions to software development teams on the do’s and don’ts of utilizing OSS
  • Integration of corporate open source governance policies with automatic tools for OSS scanning
  • Litigation: members of our Israel team represented the defendants in the first Israeli court case to deal with the integration of GPL and proprietary software code. (Marianovsky v. IChessU, in the District Court of Tel-Aviv)