201704.10
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How to Contend with Oracle’s Many Licensing Policies

It is common practice for software publishers to incorporate by reference various licensing rules and policies to govern the usage of the publishers’ software products. For example, Microsoft’s volume license agreements (such as MPSAs or Enterprise Agreements) incorporate Microsoft’s Product Terms, Online Services Terms and Service Level Agreement for Online Services (among other documents), with…

201703.22
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Intellectual Property Liability Considerations for M&A Transactions

Mergers and acquisitions typically require extensive financial and legal disclosures, due diligence, and complex contract language to protect buyers from legal issues that may arise from the purchase. Potential liability arising from intellectual property issues is a significant factor to consider in any M&A transaction. The following are a few key considerations to negotiate during…

201703.15
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Oracle Licensing: Hard Partitioning and Disaster Recovery

When licensing Oracle products, many businesses fail to understand the licensing requirements for virtual technologies and disaster recovery.  These licensing mistakes can result in significant unbudgeted expenses related to Oracle software licensing. (1) Virtualization Virtualized hardware is now fairly pervasive in the IT world. But, incorrectly virtualizing an environment can have catastrophic effects to a…

201703.14
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Oracle Audit Risks

Oracle maintains what I consider to be the most aggressive audit program of any major software publisher. Its licensing rules can be extremely difficult to understand, and they frequently are not clearly stated in the applicable license agreements. Moreover, Oracle’s License Management Services (LMS) team typically is unforgiving when it comes time to apply those…

201702.14
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Settlement Structuring for IBM Audits

Software-compliance audits initiated by IBM can be extremely burdensome and time-consuming and can force companies to face challenges that are somewhat unique among major-publisher audits. For one example, a significant component of IBM’s business model is the acquisition of other software vendors and the integration of those vendors into IBM’s product portfolio, which can complicate…

201702.02
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The Art of Negotiating a Software Audit

Almost every business today operates with the support of digital tools. One recent survey put the number of companies investing in digital technologies to transform their business at an astounding 97 percent. Conducting business in this digital age means licensing software from major publishers, such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, and the subsequent acknowledgement and…

201701.20
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Responding to the Dreaded Software Audit

Modern financial history is chock full of embarrassing audit scandals, which caused executives and corporate brand names severe damage from intentional fabrication of revenues, or creating imaginary profits, or claiming assets that turn out to be a mirage. There’s a new scary cousin of traditional financial audits known as the software audit. It’s increasingly become…