Protect your software and slay the dragons of intellectual property theft
Get your software protection the best it can be with specialist software solicitors
- Make sure you have the legal rights that you need
- Avoid over-committing your business with unnecessary or difficult legal obligations
- Problem spotting and correction
- Lawyers that speak tech. Fluently. We speak geek-to-geek, geek-to-human and legal-to-human
- Get your software protection right the first time
Protecting software properly is a whole lot more than just keeping it confidential.
That’s just first base.
Toughen up your Software Protection
Resilient software protection holds its form in harsh weather.
Contract rights. Intellectual property rights. Open source licences. Warnings of imminent legal action. Knowing how to police wrongdoing infringements. Enforcement when needed.
They all count to protect your software.
Investing in legal documentation to protect your software is not a routine task. It's a special task.
Your turnover can depend on it. If it’s not right, the money made from your software is at risk. The security of your business is too.
Avoid serious - business threatening - headaches and sleepless nights trying to fix problems.
Avoid unnecessary complexity. Avoid problems that cost you money.
Give a wide berth to hurdles you do not need to jump.
Manage your intellectual property rights like a boss from the beginning.
You do that when you get it right the first time.
Force discussion on what matters in negotiations upfront. Putting it off until later doesn’t work. Winning the business could end up being your biggest problem.
Handling it later means you’re in a weaker position, with hat in hand. You can’t negotiate sensibly from a position of weakness.
Enhance your credibility and software protection nouse. Take a position that resonates that you know what you are talking about. That you know what your baseline legal requirements are, and why they are required.
Protection from Outsiders
Setting up your contracts properly makes you a less easy target for your counterpart.
You can set traps for those intent on taking advantage of you. Doing the wrong thing by you. Betrayals of trust.
Make it more difficult for them to do it.
Is it worth the investment?
You might find that they fall on their own sword. It happens when you have concrete evidence of actions that you would be embarrassed by.
Set yourself up properly and you save yourself a lot of the heavy lifting to get that evidence.
To fix the problem in the luckless event they … try it on or do something that you would not be proud of if you did it yourself.
Open Source Software
Approach open source licensing maturely.
It can be incorporated into your business without necessarily compromising the value in your business. But sometimes it can’t.
Investors and buyers are less likely to run a mile when they look under the hood of your business. If you run your business and manage your assets in a way that preserves inherent value, you’re set.
Legal advice to avoid problems
You avoid the all-too common slip-ups.
Often, common sense in one industry doesn't work well in other industries.
Especially when the legal system operates so far away from the thought processes and mindset required to run a profitable business. They’re not different worlds. They’re different universes. With different laws of physics.
You can sometimes act with good commercial objectives - that do not look good for you later in the legal sphere. You can compromise your legal rights - or lose them altogether - by making common mistakes in the legal sphere.
Adopt commercial practices that don’t compromise your objectives if intervention of courts is needed later.
All without knowing it at the time. It’s like shooting yourself shooting yourself, but damage is caused months later. It doesn’t help to say you didn’t know any better at the time. What’s done is done.
Template Contracts the answer?
You get what you pay for, you know that. Pay cheaply, pay twice.
In law, you often don’t get the second chance.
Seriously. What would you expect from a £20, £100 or £500 template?
Template contracts drafted for the crowds rarely protect your specific business needs – other than where they are bleeding obvious. Your software assets and business has its own individual risk profile.
We tailor advice and documents to deal with your risks. Head on.
What should you be doing to protect your software?
Without constructing contracts and protection regimes for the needs of your business, software protection is left more open.
Software protection more often than not becomes more difficult. More costly. Exposed to nasty legal risks.
That should not come as a surprise.
The software protection which is right for your business depends on how you do business.
What’s in play?
Filling protection gaps in the general law
- Without a written contract you are leaving your business in the hands of the general law. Easy target.
- Shore up gaps in your software protection. Confidential and copyright law is where it starts
- Using contracts to plug the gaps. Make sure contractual rights are everything that they should be, as far as you can make it to protect software
Get up-close and personal with the day-to-day risks associated with different distribution models and service offerings
Owning what you think you do
- If the intellectual property rights aren’t owned by you, you can’t deal with them as if you do.
- Guarding against harsh risk where it is completely unfair
- Ensure intellectual property rights are allocated with the way they should be
Control your assets
- Keep control over software assets.
- Licence rights clinically to avoid avoidable disputes
- Would the entire business fail if something went wrong on a job?
- recover software which has been spirited away from the business
- minimise obstacles to getting paid
- avoid payment provisions that will make it harder to get paid
- What happens – and what can you do - if you don’t get paid?
- Spot contractual mechanisms that sound fair enough when you read them, but don't work in practice
- Spotting the traps in contracts – the ones that you see when you’ve seen how they work on the ground and after a fight. Rather than in the lab – abstract niceties of a well-worded draft contract
Security of code base
- What’s your exposure against cyberattacks in contracts - difficult to foresee, or not?
- Locate escrow arrangements that would lead to prize giveaway
Using Open Source Licensing
- minimise the effect of the bombshell downside “price” of licensing open source software – whether or not it is a copyleft licence
- Are you ripping yourself off, legally speaking?
- Take measures to prevent a mess-up turning into a meltdown and threaten the business
- Is service level compensation what it is meant to be?
- Does it work the way it is meant to work?
- Are they even enforceable?
Solicitors into Software Protection
We can make sure these and other legal matters are handled properly.
If you’re going to protect your software, do it properly.
- Contract promises: know what you are going to sign up to
- Intellectual property rights: intellectual property rights left where they should be
- Ownership of data: fix who owns what
- Data security: standards for data security and delivery protocols
- Indemnities: Don’t go further than you need to
- Personal data: Protect personal data
- Escrow: Set the terms of source code deposits right
Sort out your service level agreements, arrangements with contractors, software development agreements and licenses and terms that restrict your ability to compete.
Make sure they are up to scratch and properly serve the best interests of the business.
Pinpoint the problem areas in contracts.
Understand the legal risks that complex contracts present.
Manage IP rights within the contract for allocation of ownership of new intellectual property protected assets. Who owns what created before, during and after contracts run their course.
Deliberately and clinically licence the rights to use, develop and exploit software.
Identify clauses which make legal commitments in service level agreements difficult or impossible to enforce.
Avoid contract terms that make it unenforceable because it is too complicated. It’s heart-breaking when you have a good claim and can’t do anything about it.
Achieve the sort of legal clarity that investors and purchasers of your business look for.
Make it happen for your business
We have deep technical knowledge and understanding on the way technology works. On a forensic level. Knowing the different roles of applications, APIs, components, functions, libraries, web services and how they interact and interrelate.
It’s the sort of in-depth experience gained by solving really difficult problems. The sort you get when you help businesses run plays to get out of serious fixes.
Being accustomed to handling the level of detail required to assimilate software with legal theory, packages, case law and what the case law and authorities cover, don’t cover and won’t cover to protect your software.
Knowing what is likely to work to cure problems. How to address them when it comes to proprietary software and open source software.
And we’ve done so with many different sectors:
- software designed to integrate with banking networks
- biometric identification applications for use in airports
- source code testing and audit automation
- measurement of use of energy for national UK companies
- military applications designed for use in theatres of war
- content management systems designed to host 100s of the corporate websites simultaneously
- online gaming
- quantitative share market trading software
- software development platforms
And it all adds value to your business in the long run.
Set yourself up to bat away aggressive and imminent threats of legal action to neutralise the intensity.
Dispense with delusional infringement claims advanced by opponents.
Reduce legal ambiguity which renders enforcement of contractual rights more difficult, uneconomical or impossible to enforce.
Filter out legal tricks of the trade in legal documentation that you wouldn’t agree to, if you knew what they meant.
Get it right the first time.