Intellectual Property: Computer and Software Issues
In addition to the issues related to the use of the internet, various computer and software issues come up with companies involved in technology. Often times these issues can be resolved using traditional intellectual property laws such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks. In some cases, however, various legal issues arise with technology companies based on their unique technology services or products. Because technology companies frequently offer or use a novel and unique computer or software product, there can be issues related to the creation, ownership, protection, distribution and use of computers and/or computer software.
In some cases, it is helpful to understand and negotiate various rights at the beginning of a technology business engagement. When we are involved at the beginning, we try to outline the rights of each party based on drafting and negotiating various rights. Ideally, we try to protect and resolve issues related to the creation, ownership, protection, distribution and use of computer software prior to a dispute arising. In some cases, we have to advise our clients about their rights in connection with a dispute. In other cases, we are brought in to resolve such issues in a court proceeding.
For example, some software developers may negotiate an independent contractor agreement to retain rights to related to computer software. Some companies hire us to acquire and protect all rights related to computer software. Some companies hire us to draft license or confidentiality agreements to protect computer software or information related to the computer software. In some situations, we are asked to protect a computer system or computer software with a patent or copyright. In other cases, we help draft computer, website or application license agreements to govern and protect the use of the computer software. In other situations, we are asked to draft an agreement related to the use of the software through servers located on the cloud under a Software as a Service agreement (SAAS).