Open Source Software: Commercial and Legal Risks

Map Unavailable

March 27, 2024
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Bereskin & Parr LLP
40 King Street West, 40th floor
Toronto, Ontario

Add to calendar


This program will explore the increasing use of software under open source software licenses in software development, and the legal and commercial impact that the use thereof can have on a business. In particular, the panellists will discuss how developers can preserve their intellectual property  rights and ensure that their software retains commercial value while enjoying the benefits of using open source software in their proprietary software products.

The program will also touch on how open source software is evaluated when assessing prospective merger and acquisition transactions, and open source risks that purchasers should be aware of when performing due diligence reviews of prospective targets. From the sell-side perspective, it will touch upon open source practices that sellers should subscribe to in order to preserve their valuations and ensure smoot due diligence when seeking prospective purchasers of their business.

Lunch will be served at noon and the presentation will begin at 12:30 pm.


Phil Odence is General Manager of Synopsys’s Black Duck Audit business auditing the composition, security and quality of software for companies on both sides of M&A transactions. He focuses on software due diligence best practices and the M&A market. He also works closely with the company’s law firm partners and the open source community and is a frequent speaker on open source management and M&A. Phil chairs the Linux Foundation’s Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) working group which created an ISO standard for Software Bills of Materials (SBOMs).

With decades of software industry experience, Phil held senior management positions at Hammer/Empirix and High Performance Systems, a startup in computer simulation modeling. He began his career in marketing and sales with Teradyne’s electronic design and test automation (EDA) software group. He’s also written a book on fly fishing. Phil has an AB and an MS in engineering from Dartmouth College.

Anthony Decicco is a member in GTC Law Group’s IP Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Business & Technology Transactions groups. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, strategic development of patent portfolios, valuing and commercializing intellectual property assets, and licensing and other technology-related transactions. In addition, Tony founded and oversees the firm’s Open Source Compliance and Due Diligence practice and has extensive experience advising clients regarding the use of open source software. He has reviewed the results of literally thousands of code scans. Tony is also the Co-Lead of GTC’s Artificial Intelligence practice and has counseled clients regarding traditional AI/ML (i.e. algorithmic/rules-based) for many years and has more recently focused on generative AI. Tony is the co-chair of the AI & Cloud Computing sector of the Licensing Executives Society.

Tony holds an Honors B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McMaster University, an M.A. in Economics and a J.D., both from the University of Toronto, where he was a law review editor. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, Ontario, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (with Limited Recognition).

Suzie Suliman is a technology lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright’s Toronto office. She combines her legal and engineering degrees to help clients protect their technology assets. Suzie regularly drafts and negotiates commercial agreements relating to technology, privacy, cybersecurity and intellectual property. She also provides support on technology-related transactions and assists clients prepare for and respond to data security incidents.


Cost for attendance: ten dollars ($10) for members and students, twenty dollars ($20) for non-members, payable at the meeting. Receipts will be available. Cheques should be made payable to the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group.


Please register before noon on Friday, March 22, 2024. Registrations may not be confirmed. Substitutions are permitted anytime. Registrants who do not attend and do not cancel or send a substitute may be invoiced for lunch. Please e-mail registrations or cancellations to:

When registering, please advise if you have any dietary restrictions.


Please circulate this notice to business associates, clients, colleagues or others who may be interested in attending a meeting or joining the TCLG.