Software Development: Who Really Owns A New App?

Software Development: Who Really Owns A New App?Whether you’re a developer or you’ve contracted with one to create a new application, there’s often a big misunderstanding as to who owns the intellectual property at the end of a software development project.

If you paid to have the app developed, naturally you expect to own it. On the other hand, if you’re the developer, chances are you recycled some code on the current project and plan to use it in the future on other projects.

Open Source Code?

And then there’s the open source issue.

Was any of the code added per a GNU General Public license, Creative Commons license, or other open source license?

As you can see, there’s plenty of room for disagreement about who owns what intellectual property.

Related Article – Software Development Agreement : Who Really Owns The Intellectual Property?

Written Software Development Agreement

Of course, the solution to this problem is to having the project done per a comprehensive app development contract that covers ownership, licensing (including type of license), and any open source issues.

Related Article – Software Development Agreement: 10 Issues To Cover

Your written contract can provide not only for intellectual property issues but also prevent other problems from arising during all phases of development and testing.

Where Should You Get An App Development Contract?

By having your agreement professionally prepared by an experienced software lawyer, you’re likely to get what you want rather than leaving it to chance.

For example, our firm prepares a Software Development Legal Protection Package that’s designed to favor our client’s legal rights while offering a fair deal to the other side. Often the agreement is reused by our client on future app development projects with minimal changes.

Regardless of what you decide to do, whether you’re a developer or paying one, don’t just wing it when it comes to software intellectual property ownership, licensing, and related legal rights. That’s not only bad for business relationships but also an invitation to a lawsuit to sort things out after the fact.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Internet Lawyer Mike Young provides contracts and other efficient legal solutions to business owners and C-level executives of privately held companies. To get legal advice from Mike, click here to set up your phone consultation with him.

More posts by Mike Young, Esq.