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.

Sun announced today that they are purchasing the open source database vendor, MySQL AB, in a deal valued at around $1 billion. The transaction is scheduled to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of Sun’s fiscal 2008. According to The Street: “Sun will pay approximately $800 million in cash for all of MySQL’s stock and assume about $200 million in options.”

Sun’s CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, described the acquisition as based on MySQL’s unique position: MySQL’s database is the “M” in the LAMP stack which is favored by web companies, yet MySQL is having difficulties selling to more traditional companies, because CIOs want traditional “big company” commercial support. MySQL has stated that “more than 100 million copies of MySQL’s open source database software have been downloaded and distributed and an additional 50,000 copies are downloaded daily.” Sun gains the advantage of MySQL’s customer base while supplying the commercial support that MySQL needs to sell into more traditional enterprises. Jonathan’s post is particularly interesting for the vision behind the acquistion:

So why is this important for the internet? Until now, no platform vendor has assembled all the core elements of a completely open source operating system for the internet. No company has been able to deliver a comprehensive alternative to the leading proprietary OS. With this acquisition, we will have done just that - positioned Sun at the center of the web, as the definitive provider of high performance platforms for the web economy.

Jonathan’s post also provides details about how Sun will integrate MySQL into its offerings.

And he announced that Sun will be funding additional developments at universities through global research fellowships designed to advance the state of engineering on the internet. The announcement of this academic initiative follows Sun’s announcement in December that Sun will be establishing an “award program” to support innnovation and advance open source development relating to its products.

2008 is starting with a bang for open source.

Post tags:

1 Comment

  1. sun development…

    Law & Life: Silicon Valley ” Sun Microsystems Buys MySQL for … is a big world, I am looking for someone who can elaborate on sun development….

    Trackback by sun development — August 13, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.