A tech lawyer is a lawyer who specialises in technology matters and can help you draft tech agreements such as software, e-commerce, intellectual property, and licensing agreements and also assist with resolving disputes arising out of any of the foresaid agreements. Outlined below are 5 common tech agreements which are drafted to ensure that tech businesses are well-protected.

App/Software Development Agreement

If you run a tech business which provides app or software development services, for each client, you should set out the terms that have been agreed in a development agreement. The agreement should clearly outline exactly what services you provide, and if possible, have a well set out phases and timing schedule. This will ensure that both parties are aware of the services and expected deadlines, and will help avoid disputes between you and your customers. In addition, it may be helpful to also have a simple intellectual property assignment agreement, which enables you to assign the rights of the final app or software to your client.

E-Commerce Agreement

If you sell products online you will need an e-commerce agreement which usually comes in the form of sales terms and conditions. The terms and conditions should set out what products you are selling, what prices are expected to be paid and when, what happens if goods are damaged, and what rights your customers have under the Australian Consumer Law. Businesses in Australia are required to provide mandatory guarantees for any goods which are damaged or of less than merchantable quality, and if you are unsure of what guarantees you must provide under the Australian Consumer Law, you should have a chat to a tech lawyer.

End User License Agreement

If you have developed software and you enable customers or the general public to use it, to protect your business interests, you should have an end user license agreement. The agreement should indicate what is being provided, and it should be clear that you are granting the end users a license to use your software, but this license does not mean that they are given any rights, title or ownership to the intellectual property. When you have developed software, the intellectual property is extremely valuable, and you should make sure that it is well-protected.

Service Level Agreement

If you provide some form of managed IT services, then you may require a service level agreement between you and your customers. A service level agreement will set out the quality of service your customers expect from you, so you should be careful not to commit to obligations which you may not be able to meet. The agreement should also contain a strong set of disclaimers and limitations of liability to ensure that you are not held responsible for any loss or damage which may be suffered by your customers that is beyond your control.

Software as a Service Agreement

If you provide your software as a service, then you will require what we call software as a service agreement. This agreement can be signed by your customers or accepted online at the time that customers register to use your software. This agreement will clearly set out the services that you provide to yours customer, what fees the customer must pay to you, how a customer can end this agreement, what uses are prohibited, and what losses or damages which may be suffered by the customer that you are not responsible nor liable for. Each of these clauses is important to ensure that both parties clearly understand their rights and responsibilities under the agreement. A detailed agreement will help prevent disputes and save you plenty of time, money and hassle.

To conclude

As technology continues to develop and the law keeps trying to keep up, it is important that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations when operating a tech business. A tech lawyer can help you ensure that you have all the legal documents necessary for your business and that your rights and interests are well-protected. If you have any concerns at all or are unsure of your legal obligations, you should speak to a tech lawyer as soon as possible so that matters can be dealt with quickly and effectively.

Lachlan McKnight

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