Just a reminder, these posts are not legal advice. This site is the personal blog of Mark Radcliffe and the opinions expressed are those of Mark Radcliffe and not those of his clients, DLA Piper or the clients of DLA Piper.

About Me:

Mark Radcliffe

I have been practicing law in Silicon Valley for over thirty years assisting startups and global companies develop and market innovative products and services. I have participated in multiple business cyles in Silicon Valley from hardware to software to internet to cloud. My projects have included developing the dual licensing business model for open source startup, developing the original domain dispute resolution policy for NSI and assisting Sun in open sourcing the Solaris operating system. Recently, I served on the US Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council (one of ten members) to develop a plan to encourage the innovation in Japan and the United States. I have been working with the same attorneys since 1986 although we have merged with other law firms several times. I am now a partner at DLA Piper, a (relatively) new global law firm formed in 2005 from the merger of three law firms. The firm now has 4200 lawyers in 31 countries and 77 cities. My experience in corporate securities (particularly venture capital) and intellectual property enables me to assist companies structure the financing and intellectual property strategy for developing ane exploiting a new product or service. I and my team work with fifty startups at one time as well as Global Fortune 100. I have been fortunate enough to work with companies in software, cloud computing, semiconductor, health care IT and Web 2.0.

I am participating in SDForum’s Global Open Source Colloquium for the third year. This Colloquium is held the day before OSBC.  The event is always fun because it is much smaller than OSBC and permits you to interact with the speakers on a personal basis.  The speakers are always drawn from major figures in the open source industry with a leavening of speakers from overseas.

This year has a particularly interesting set of presentations with Larry Augustin as the keynote. Larry is a seasoned entrepeneur and a very successful investor in open source companies.  We will also have several panels with open source CEOs which focus on the global market. And we will have a great panel of venture capitalists who invest in open source (I know because I will moderate the panel!). 

The Colloquium will begin at 11:30 am at the Palace Hotel on March 23. I hope to see you there!

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March is the open source month: we start with the Open Source Think Tank and end with OSBC. This year the Think Tank was particularly interesting because we decided to move away from more general questions about the future of the industry to focus on how to deal with particular business problems. Andrew’s team from the Olliance Group did an excellent job in setting up these questions  We continued to use the format from past Open Source Think Tanks, with the questions discussed by  groups of eight to ten participants. This year Olliance Group also introduced real time voting on questions (look for some interesting details in the white paper from Olliance Group).  For those of you located in Europe (or who can travel there), we will be having our Second Annual Think Tank in Paris in the fall.

However I think that the most interesting discussion was the panel with Marten Mickos and Michael Olson on their experience in selling an open source startup to a large company. They focused on the cultural challenges and how to deal with them.  I also provided an update on legal issues, with the Jacobsen case being the most important.  You can see my slides at

Despite the terrible weather, we had over 90 attendees.  As before, the most fun was spending time with those who are both knowledgeable and passionate about open source and its future. 

PS: We had a very interesting discussion about the potential need for a Commercial Open Source Trade Association, but more on that in a separate post.

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