must adapt their lawyering approach to capturing and securing IP rights." /> Protecting IP in an Agile Software Development Environment | Section of Intellectual Property Law

Protecting IP in an Agile Software Development Environment

Vol. 7 No. 6

By

Christopher N. George is a shareholder in the IP law firm of Hanley, Flight & Zimmerman, focusing on patent prosecution, litigation, and counseling, particularly strategic patent prosecution and portfolio development.

Raymond Millien is senior IP Counsel for GE Healthcare.

This article reflects the authors’ current personal views and should not necessarily be attributed to their current or former employers, or their respective clients or customers.

Over the last decade, there has been a movement among the software developer community to employ some form of “agile development” rather than the traditional software development methodology. The belief is that these agile methodologies lead to higher quality software and faster development cycles. More recently, the implementation of agile software development has transitioned not only from small startups to large companies, but also from enterprises developing noncritical, consumer apps to those developing software for medical, aviation, military, and financial systems, where the presence of errors pose high human or economic risk. With these transitions, intellectual property (IP) law practitioners must adopt their traditional lawyering approaches to capturing and securing IP (especially patent) rights. A failure to recognize and adapt to the agile software development environment will result in a failure of IP law practitioners’ essential job function—helping to create or sustain client profitability and enable long-term business growth.

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