A licence acts as an agreement that a person or a company has the right to use an item or perform some sort of activity, whether it's using intellectual property rights or in this case a piece of software. The right can be conferred locally or nationally, it can be multiple or single, and exclusive or not, as the parties prefer. A software licence agreement can have its terms negotiated as suits the parties and can prevent issues such as copyright infringement and the exploitation of confidential information under corporate law.
Key aspects of information technology law include ownership and development, however, it's also important to have an understanding of which rights are being dealt with and the implication of these rights in the future. For example, whether you are entitled to upgrades or updates and the consequent legal effect of disclaimers, warranties, limitations plus any liability which has been excluded. Expert legal advice should be sought early on regarding software licence agreements and at the outset of any possible breaches thereof.
Oratto has been specifically developed as an internet-based platform which connects consumers with high quality legal advice. Reaching a software licence agreement lawyer through Oratto is quick and straightforward. All of the commercial law solicitors on this page have extensive experience of negotiating and drafting software licence agreements. If you aren't sure which lawyer might be best for you then you can send us your details and we will be able to match you with a suitable solicitor. Your chosen lawyer can then advise you on the negotiation, drafting, sale and marketing of your agreement, whether you are a licensor or licensee.
Common areas of software licence agreements to be considered
There are some clauses which will be especially important, including, but not restricted, to:
- limitations and exclusions of liability
- creating a structured legal framework for global distribution and software licensing
- re-selling rights
- integrating software and branding rights
- carrying out due diligence to assess the strength of rights prior to acquiring them
It's essential to have a proper understanding of your software licence agreement so you don't fall foul of hidden terms such as allowing more usage than the fee paid is for, or end up being trapped into obligations or limited in what you can do with the licensed property. Your chosen solicitor will be able to prepare an agreement which is comprehensive, fair and clear. If there is no relevant agreement in place for the software to be used in a certain way then this could translate to a breach of copyright law. As with all commercial agreements, the proper and thorough drafting of a software licence agreement is essential for the protection of the parties involved.
Other legal issues to be considered in software licensing
- IP law
- tax implications
- the warranties or guarantees provided
- indemnity and liability terms
- a termination clause
- what happens in circumstances such as insolvency, breach of contract or bankruptcy
Competition law rules must also be taken into account sometimes because it's possible that the terms on which the software licence agreement is based may be construed as restrictions upon competition.
seeking the right legal advice for your circumstances
Contact Oratto today so that we may help you find the right commercial lawyer for your circumstances. Alternatively please browse through the profiles featured in this section to select a solicitor you would like to make contact with.