Software audits are on the rise—a fact well-documented by Gartner. Software giants have long recognized that audits are a way to generate additional revenue, and vendors like Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM have developed reputations for being very aggressive during the audit process. Audits are also increasingly expensive for licensees. A recent report showed companies have a 9% chance of concluding an audit by writing a check greater than $5 Million and approximately a 25% chance of spending $1 million or more.

In the recent past, there were the so-called “Patent Trolls” (a derisive term) for entities exploiting the patent system by amassing low-value portfolios and indiscriminately filing infringement lawsuits for the sole purpose of extracting “cost of defense” settlements. Today, targeted legislation and court decisions have lessened the pervasiveness of Patent Trolls.

Filling the vacuum and riding on the coattails of the increase in software audits, there is a new breed of vendors we have named “Software Licensing Trolls.” Often backed by venture capital, these License Trolls weaponize unique aspects of the software audit process to squeeze millions out of unprepared victims in a manner similar to Patent Trolls.

Takeaways from this presentation:

  1. Learn the current state of the Software Licensing Trolls Phenomenon
  2. Learn common tactics of the Software License Troll and how to avoid being its next victim
  3. Practical strategies for negotiating with Licensing Trolls and resolving licensing and auditing disputes before litigation

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