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Exactly What Are You Buying From Your Software Developer?

software development ownershipWhen you’re paying to have a software application developed, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting.

For example, a developer might deliver a functional mobile app that meets your specs. Yet you discover you don’t legally own the app.

How is that possible?

As skilled technicians, developers frequently don’t focus on things like intellectual property (IP) ownership. They just want to get the work done.

So, what happens is an app development project ends, the client thinks it owns the code, yet the developer plans to recycle the code to use for other clients’ projects. Sometimes it’s a nasty lawsuit over who owns what, particularly when multiple parties have paid a developer for work that each thinks they own.

And it gets even more confusing if the developer has used third-party code (e.g., open source code) on the project.

What happens in these situations is both client and developer think they own something that neither do. And you may not even have the right to sell the app you think you own!

How do you prevent this type of mess?

The first step is to have a comprehensive software development agreement that’s designed to protect and clearly spells out what rights you have. If you need help with an app dev agreement or software licensing, you may want to schedule a phone consultation with Software Lawyer Mike Young.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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