If you need specialist software for your business then you may commission a bespoke development, rather than buying an off-the-shelf product.
Purchasing bespoke software constitutes a significant investment for your business and so, before signing a software contract, it is important to talk to a solicitor to ensure your investment is protected and that the technical terms of the agreement, together with their implications, are understood.
At Lawdit, we have vast experience of the IT sector and regularly advise on software contracts for our clients. We can ensure that any software contract you enter into is fair and offers full legal protection to you and your business.
The areas we advise on include:
We will ensure a clause is inserted into the contract governing acceptance testing, which is designed to simulate the environment the software will be used in and the typical extremes under which it will be expected to operate. The software must perform well in these tests to be accepted for use.
We will ensure that payment terms are fair and acceptable to you. In many cases, this will mean instalment payments linked to agreed milestones in the development process.
These will be written into the contract to stipulate the developer’s responsibility for correcting problems that may arise after delivery.
A software contract must specify the form in which the software will be provided to you. This will normally be in the form of ‘object code’, which is a disc or other storage device from which you can download the program. This is separate from ‘source code’, which is the underlying code that actually constitutes the program.
To protect your interests it may be necessary to have a clause in the contract that allows us or another party to hold the source code in escrow. See our escrow page for further information.
Any software contract must lay out how the program will be maintained, fixed or updated by the developer when necessary.
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