OpenWrt mainly targets embedded devices capable of running Linux. In most cases wireless routers.
OpenWrt is primarily intended for power users, networking enthusiasts, wireless communities, and embedded device developers.
OpenWrt's default configuration, with the luci web interface, is a big improvement over the stock firmware of most wireless routers and similar devices. It provides all of the functionality most people will need. Additional packages can be installed with just a few clicks, to provide extended functionality if needed. A command line interface is also available.
Companies can best support OpenWrt by upstreaming the required code to support their products. Any platform support code, patch submissions or even just detailed specifications are most appreciated.
Upstreaming product support also benefits the company in the long run as ongoing maintenance and porting effort decreases over time while the amount of internally required changes can be reduced.
The build system and many OpenWrt components are licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 2. Some parts are licensed under different licenses, this is mostly the case for packages not created in OpenWrt.
The original authors of the code hold the copyright.
No, the OpenWrt project is not a registered legal entity. However, OpenWrt is represented by Software in the Public Interest (SPI).
Yes, OpenWrt is a registered trademark which is held by the Software in the Public Interest (SPI) in the name of the OpenWrt project.
Main topic: About OpenWrt/LEDE
The LEDE project was created by developers wanted to focus on stable releases, whereas the OpenWrt core team had been focused on “bleeding edge” development. The LEDE developers especially wanted to better automate the testing and release processes, and did not feel they could do this within the constraints of OpenWrt's infrastructure and procedures at the time.
LEDE was not affiliated with any specific company or any industry organization. Nor was a trademark registered for the LEDE project.
Compatibility between the projects' code bases remained high. LEDE distributed the same packages as OpenWrt. LEDE also supported sysupgrades from and to OpenWrt, although some of the default configuration settings were changed.
After some months of working independently, the two groups were able to agree on a way to merge the best aspects of both projects back under the OpenWrt name, and the LEDE name was retired.