The company aims to start a sub-project based on new graphic rendering techniques with an open source core with associated subsystem IP, tools, and software for graphical and game designers (development environments). It seeks to create a community around the open source cores and optimise its processes. The company has a patent portfolio and is concerned that exposing it to open source collaboration may ‘taint’ other of its patents.



How can the company leverage open assets to start a new business?

Experience with 3Os

No experience

  • How can I generate value from open-source assets? What are the relevant ones among OSS, OH, and OD?
  • What are my legal rights and responsibilities if I engage in the 3Os?

Technological area

Healthcare robotics

  • Can a robotics company be successful without being involved in the 3Os?
  • How relevant are OSS, OH, and OD in this specific technological area?


User or Maker

A company may be just a user if it relies on permissively licensed assets. In that case, the company only needs to assess legal obligations relating to the use of open assets developed by others. However, if the company relies on reciprocally licensed assets and modifies and distributes these modifications, it may be ‘forced’ to become a maker by the license conditions. Vetting of assets in line with the business strategy is therefore essential prior to using reciprocal open source licenses.



  • How do machine certification work with open license control software? Do you aim to get a patent over one or more inventive ideas
  • What are the main strategic advantages of using open assets? The company needs to identify business requirements that can leverage FOSS solutions (e.g., databases, libraries, plugins).
  • How likely is your business model to depend on licensing royalties from proprietary technologies? Consider: exclusivity, market, territory, term, royalty

Attitude toward risk

Risky approach

Do benefits overcome the legal and financial risks? Risks are mostly driven by the industry in which the start-up is placed. Since healthcare is a strongly regulated industry, which defines the standards to be used, the choice of how to use (and contribute to) the 3Os depends on careful assessment of those standards.


Not part of any

  • Is the robotics business feasible in total autonomy? The company needs to consider market maturity, market demand, regulatory frameworks, and region of operation.
  • Can I define a certification chain to support my product?


Not engaged in any

How can I create a community around my products? Does it make sense at all? It is important to acknowledge that not only business considerations determine the need community support (e.g., a community can arise around a product due to social or ethical reasons, especially in healthcare).