Are you worried that your company may be targeted by the “second wave” of aggressive software license auditors (such as Micro Focus and/or Quest)? Are you familiar with the peculiar incentives behind these and other newly aggressive software auditors?
Bottom line: you probably should be.
Beeman & Muchmore is proud to join forces with our partners Dr. Michael Corey and Dean Bolton in order to present: “Software Licensing Trolls: How They Are Monetizing Licensing Agreements And Putting Your Business At Risk.” We are very excited to once again collaborate with LicenseFortress, and we thank our friends at Licensing Executives Society for their support.
Please review the program description and webinar details below, and we hope that you can join us on July 29th!
In the recent past, so-called “Patent Trolls” (a derisive term for certain Non-Practicing Entities or “NPEs”) were perceived as exploiting the patent system by amassing low-value portfolios and indiscriminately filing infringement lawsuits for the sole purpose of extracting “cost of defense” settlements. Eventually, their notoriety caught up with them, and due to legislative action and Supreme Court rulings, the heyday of the Patent Troll is largely receding.
In a new twist on the same theme, some investment companies and established software giants have begun monetizing software licensing agreements in a similarly exploitative fashion. However, due to the peculiarities of the contractual relationship between licensor/licensee, this emerging breed of Licensing Trolls presents an even greater potential risk to the average business. For example, where claims of patent infringement are subject to the protections of the court system, a claim involving breach of a licensing agreement is initiated by a low-cost software audit.
Where the Patent Troll needed to obtain hard-fought injunctions or monetary judgements to carry through on their threats, the License Troll can allege tens of millions of dollars in damages and, absent payment, can unilaterally terminate valuable software rights entirely outside the court system. Finally, License Trolls benefit from the fact that they nearly always operate within the confines of contractually confidential audit proceedings, effectively siloing bewildered licensees and preventing them from having the knowledge/details of the experiences of previous targets. As such, combating licensing trolls requires more than a deep understanding of the law and an expertise in the technology at issue – it requires an experienced guide through this emerging shadow market that cannot be readily understood through normal channels.
1. An update on the current state of the Software Licensing Troll phenomenon;
2. An understanding of the terms and conditions of the software licenses being asserted by Licensing Trolls and how licensees may best protect their interests; and
3. Practical strategies for negotiating with Licensing Trolls and resolving audit disputes before litigation.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific/2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern
Software licensors are known for vague contracts—they’ve made a business of it.
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