Passport Without A Visa: Open Source Software Licensing and Trademarks

Tiki Dare, Legal Director, Sun Microsystems, Inc., USA
Harvey Anderson, General Counsel, Mozilla, USA

Open source software has defied its sceptics and become a big business. Governments at the national, state and local level across the globe are requiring open source in their projects. Almost all major commercial software vendors use or distribute code under some open source license. As a user, it’s hard to go a day on the web without interacting with some open source code which has replaced many server side legacy products. Worldwide more than 200 million consumers use open source software products and thousands of enterprises use open source code. The best known open source brand is still probably the Linux operating system, but as open source projects and companies proliferate, the importance of brands to differentiate these offerings is on the rise. Trademarks, the legal rights that form the foundation for brand identity, will necessarily play a larger role in the open source world.

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USA Open Source IT March 2009 Vol. 2, No. 6, Winter 2009

Tiki Dare


Tiki Dare is the Director of Trademarks & Marketing at Sun Microsystems, Inc. She is responsible for protection of Sun's trademark portfolio worldwide and she supports Sun's corporate and brand marketing. Sun's core brands include the Java technology platform, the Solaris Operating System, the MySQL database management system, Sun StorageTek storage solutions and the UltraSPARC processor. Her expertise includes advertising, intellectual property and competition law. Tiki has been with Sun since September 1997. She holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. and M.A. in the Humanities from Duke University. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors on the International Trademark Association.

Harvey Anderson


Harvey Anderson has counseled internet, technology, and consumer goods clients in complex commercial transactions, as well as financial, corporate, litigation, and intellectual property matters for the past 16 years. He is currently Vice President Business Affairs and General Counsel of the Mozilla Corporation, distributor of the Firefox browser used by 200M people worldwide. He has led M&A activities for public and private companies, successfully directed significant patent litigation matters, set industry wide licensing standards, and created valuable IP portfolios. Prior to Mozilla, he served as SVP Corporate Affairs and General Counsel for Seven Networks, a software company providing white label mobile email solutions to wireless carriers worldwide. Previously he was COO and General Counsel for Flywheel Communications, Inc. and Medscape (MSCP). At Medscape, a provider of electronic medical records, he led the company’s filing and registration activities resulting in a successful IPO and the launch of one of the first consumer personal health records. Prior to Medscape, he served as Assistant General Counsel for Netscape Communications Corp (NSCP). At Seven Networks, he managed the company’s legal and corporate affairs activities, including corporate and commercial transactions, licensing, finance, and patent litigation activities. As Assistant General Counsel of Netscape Communications, he directed technology licensing, intellectual property development and litigation, and other complex sales and corporate transactions. Prior to Netscape, his practice at McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen and Limbic & Limbach focused on intellectual property litigation. He has a J.D. from the University of San Francisco, a B.S. in engineering from Marquette University, and is a member of the United States patent bar.



Mozilla is a global community dedicated to building free, open source products and technologies that improve the online experience for people everywhere. We work in the open with a highly disciplined, transparent and cooperative development process, under the umbrella of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. As a wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation organizes the development and marketing of Mozilla products. This unique structure has enabled Mozilla to financially support and cultivate competitive, viable community innovation. For more information, visit

Sun Microsystems, Inc.


Sun Microsystems, Inc. provides network computing infrastructure solutions that drive global network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership. Guided by a singular vision, “The Network is the Computer”, Sun provides a diversity of software, systems, storage, services and microelectronics that power everything from consumer electronics, to developer tools and the world’s most powerful data centers. Sun's network computing platforms are used by nearly every sector of society and industry, and provide the infrastructure behind some of the world’s best known search, social networking, entertainment, financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, news, energy and engineering companies. By investing in research and development, Sun creates products and services that address the complex information technology issues facing customers today, including increasing demands for network access, bandwidth and storage.

USA Open Source IT March 2009 Vol. 2, No. 6, Winter 2009