EUIPO Observatory publishes research study on “Open-Source Software in the European Union”

The new report analyses how companies in the European software sector make use of open-source software (OSS) licences. It puts special focus on how software firms use intellectual property rights to protect business models that rely on OSS licenced software.

The results show that OSS is now an integral part of software firms’ business models. By embedding OSS into their business models, businesses get strategic benefits related to the wider dissemination of software and a larger knowledge pool that they can tap into.

The report also shows that such businesses are able to profit from their OSS involvement by combining it with other proprietary services and products, complementing OSS. Informal and formal IP protection methods help businesses to convert market opportunities associated with OSS into profitable business models.

The report shows that the current IPR system is versatile enough to allow for the emergence of new practices and innovation governance methods. OSS is an example of such a practice, whereby IPR provisions, especially copyright, are used creatively to facilitate access to knowledge while still preserving the incentive to innovate. To read the Observatory’s news release and for access to the report, click here.