Whether you run a software company or are an application developer, it’s important to get an experienced software lawyer to help you protect your intellectual property (IP).
How does that work?
Software Development Agreement
Have your attorney review your software development agreement to ensure that it provides you what you need for your business. If you don’t have a contract, your software lawyer can prepare one that’s designed to meet your needs.
Note that what’s included in your agreement will vary depending upon whether it’s a desktop application, mobile app, or software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Never accept the other party’s contract at face value as “standard” for app development.
If you’re a developer, you want an agreement you can use repeatedly that’s designed to let you recycle code on other app development projects while limiting your liability exposure if the client is unhappy.
On the other hand, if you have software being developed by employees or independent contractors, you want to make sure you truly get what you pay for plus have legal remedies in case something goes wrong.
Software Beta Testing Agreement
If you’re beta testing your software (and you should) before release, you’ll want to make it clear in a software beta test contract the limited rights and responsibilities of those testing your software. The scope of your license granted will be more restrictive than the end user license agreement (EULA) that retail customers get upon release.
Your software legal professional can draft the narrow terms you want to protect your IP at this important stage of development.
Software Evaluation License Agreement
If you’re offering a limited version of your application or the full version for a trial period, you’ll want your software lawyer to prepare a software evaluation license to restricts user rights until they purchase a EULA from you or one of your retailers.
End User License Agreement
If you’re selling software or giving it away (e.g. freemium games), you’ll want your software lawyer to review your existing EULA to ensure your intellectual property rights are properly covered.
International Software Distribution Licensing Agreement
If you have limited resources, you may want to reach out to potential overseas joint venture partners to distribute your software internationally (and perhaps create foreign language versions of your software). For these transactions, you’ll want a seasoned software attorney to prepare the licensing terms in your international distribution contracts.
Otherwise, you may find your licensees cannibalizing your local market with grey market software, have piracy issues, or licensees selling your software but not paying you royalties you’re due.
Resale License Agreements
One of the most misunderstood software legal issues involves resale (often misspelled as “resell”) rights. Few software vendors or their licensees correctly handle these types of rights.
This means a resale licensee may mistakenly believe he has master resale rights.
Fortunately, your software licensing attorney can help ensure that everyone’s on the same page as to who owns what when it comes to resale licenses.
Where To find A Software Lawyer
You can search for the software IP lawyer you need in Google, Bing, another search engine, or a legal director.
However, if you’d like to speak with Attorney Young about protecting your application rights as owner or developer, set up a phone consultation.