Frequently Asked and Infrequently Answered Questions About Software Patents

Mishi Choudhary (Software Freedom Law Center), Deb Nicholson (Open Invention Network), Justin Colannino (Ropes & Gray LLP)
Location: E145
Average rating: ***..
(3.88, 8 ratings)

The intense commercial competition between technology companies is driving large volumes of complex and often multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. With the de facto possibility of patenting software related ideas in various countries, free and open source software developers must understand the patent risks inherent in the development and distribution of their software. This will help them cut through the patent FUD and develop real solutions to face the risk of patent aggression with the help of a collaborative ecosystem. Further, such collective thinking will ensure that we can spend less time worrying and more time accomplishing in areas crucial to innovation i.e better code and development, better documentation and a united community.

In this session lawyers from the Software Freedom Law Center and the Community Outreach Director of Open Invention Network (OIN) will discuss the current trends in software patent aggression, will provide useful information about patents and patent liability, and will explain some means to provide community defense.

Mishi Choudhary

Software Freedom Law Center

Mishi Choudhary is the Director of International programs at Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), New York and the founding Executive Director of SFLC India. She has an LLM from Columbia Law School where she was a Stone Scholar. Prior to joining SFLC, Mishi was a litigator in different chambers in India with areas of practice covering Corporate and Commercial Law, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution, Information Technology Law, Trademarks and Copyrights.She is a member of the Bar Council of Delhi, licensed to appear before the Supreme Court of India, all the State High Courts in India, in the State of New York, before the Southern District of New York. and Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Photo of Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson

Open Invention Network

Deb Nicholson works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She has been a free speech advocate, economic justice organizer and civil liberties defender. After working in Massachusetts politics for fifteen years, she became involved in the free software movement. She is the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at Media Goblin. She also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to providing tools and education for potential new free software contributors. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Justin Colannino

Ropes & Gray LLP

Justin’s is an associate in Ropes & Gray LLP’s Intellectual Property Group, where he focuses his legal practice on patent litigation. Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, he was Counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, where he advised non-profit free and open source developers and projects in all areas of free and open source development.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Alex Martelli
Alex Martelli
07/20/2012 11:11am PDT

Good try, but the somewhat-undirected session inevitably flowed towards political discussions (not productive). Stronger session management a must for such important but difficult subjects!


For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at (707) 827-7065 or

View a complete list of OSCON contacts