IP and Open Source: Your Questions Answered

We’ve seen some questions this week regarding the project and what happens to the intellectual property (IP) once the apps challenge is over. We hope this answers your questions.

What If I Win?

If your app wins, congratulations! You and your team are walking away with $25,000, $15,000, or $10,000.

But to make Go Code Colorado happen, it had to fit within state procurement law. Under that law, the challenge is treated like “work for hire” services, and that law says that the State of Colorado has to own the IP if we pay for it, which is what the cash award is.

However, because we’d like you to own your IP and give you the freedom to do what you want with it, we sat down with our lawyers and found a way for the State of Colorado to keep ownership for just one year. We will then license the IP back to you so your team can keep working on it. If everything goes well after that year, we give the IP back to you.

What does ownership mean?

It means the State of Colorado has an interest in your success. Legally we have to take IP ownership, at least temporarily, but we look at this as an opportunity to continue to support you and your team. The State will continue to develop and evolve the support ecosystem that you have access to during the Challenge.

And if everything goes well, after one year we will transfer that ownership stake back to your team. However, ownership doesn’t mean the State will manage, control, or interfere with the development or operation of your team’s business model.

We are not in the business of business, and frankly that is why we are engaging devs and entrepreneurs to create Go Code Colorado. In short, you can think of the State of Colorado as a silent, yet supportive, partner in your new endeavor.

What If I Don’t Win?

If your app doesn’t win the Challenge, then you can do whatever you want with it! You own the IP of your app completely and have the freedom to use it how you please: open source it, sell it, turn it into a business, or do nothing at all. The app is yours!

What About Open Source?

Some apps challenges require all apps to be open sourced. Others take ownership away from the participants irrespective of whether they win.

We are trying to be different.

We don’t want to tell you what to do with your app. If you want to make it open source, then please do! If you don’t, then that’s okay too. We value your personal liberty and your ability to pursue that liberty. And that means giving you choice.

As mentioned above, if you are one of the three winners, the State of Colorado retains ownership for one year. But then we give it back to you. Thus you’ll need to hold off on open sourcing the app for the first year. After that, open source away! Or not. Up to you.

I Still Have Questions!

If you still have questions about IP, feel free to ask in the comments below and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.

Upcoming Events


Challenge Weekend

April 13-15, 2018

Mentor Weekend

April 27-29, 2018


May 18, 2018 @ 12:00-1:00 pm


May 23, 2018 @ 5:30-6:30 pm


May 24, 2018 @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Final Event

June 7. 2018 @ 6:00 PM

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