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    Firmware license


    Hi,

    I am planning to convert my firmware which runs on my device into a commercial library which is to be ported to my customer's firmware and device. However, I am concerning about security issues. Is there any way to prevent reverse engineering on my firmware library and protect my IP. What kind of agreement should I make with the customer? Should I get a license fee per copy or should it be royality free?
    Please advise.
    Many thanks
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    > Is there any way to prevent reverse engineering on my firmware library and protect my IP.
    How will you be delivering the library (source or object code)?
    There are various ways of obfuscating things to make it more difficult to work out what is going on (though not impossible).

    > What kind of agreement should I make with the customer?
    At the very least, you'll need some kind of NDA
    If you're looking at $10K++ worth of investment, then buying a couple of hours with a commercial lawyer should be something you should consider as well.

    > Should I get a license fee per copy or should it be royality free?
    Well that depends on what you want (and which you think will be the best earner for you).
    Do you see high volume shipments of finished products? A few cents on 1M shipped units is a nice sum to be getting on with. But with it comes the need to verify actual sales in some way.

    Or is it low volume to a specialised market, in which case you might look at a separate licence for each unique product line.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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    Thanks a lot for the fast response
    I will deliver it as object codes. I am not sure that obfuscation add one more level of security as I have no control on the hardware. I guess They can get the original object codes anytime they wants. Am I right?

    Can you please confirm the statements below:
    - I think I cannot prevent the firmware from being copied illegally in the same product line. Therefore it must be royalty free for one product line such as nxp lpc1788 mcu.

    - I have nothing to do other then trusting my customer about reverse engineering and copy protection after signing the NDA.

    I checked the commercial RTOSs in the market and saw that most of them have royality free license model and give source codes to their customers. Do you know some companies which deliver object codes to the their customers and strictly protect their IPs at the same time? Can you give me some examples?

    Thanks again.

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