You can also approach Legaltree for issues relating to IT law. Bieneke Braat has extensive experience in drafting, reviewing and negotiating IT contracts such as software licences, SaaS (software-as-a-service) contracts, outsourcing contracts, website and software development contracts, but also in the field of software protection including apps, advice on open source software, eCommerce requirements and domain name and other IT disputes.
Legaltree mainly supports companies in the online, IT and retail sectors, ranging from multinationals to SMEs.
- IT contracts
- IT disputes
- Protection of software
- Open source software
- Demands of eCommerce
- Domain name disputes
- Internet law
As is the case with all services, it is important that the terms and conditions under which ICT services are provided is done so on a sound contractual basis. This applies to both the client and the supplier. The outsourcing of an ICT service can have a large impact on the company processes of the client, as well as have far reaching responsibilities for the supplier. This principle also applies to the implementation of a critical business system.
Legaltree can help assess, draft and negotiate ICT related contracts, such as:
– website and software development contracts;
– implementation contracts;
– outsourcing contracts;
– reseller contracts;
– teaming agreements;
– global alliance contracts.
Due to the nature of information technology it is not always easy to determine what the desired outcome of an IT service is. The danger therefore exists that the expectations of the client and the contractor diverge. A sound contract, but also development methodologies such as Agile and Scrum can assist in reducing certain risks. If it does come to a legal dispute, Legaltree assists clients and contractors alike to try to resolve the dispute, either by themselves or through a court or IT arbitrator.
Protection of software
Software, or programmes in the broadest sense of the word. Besides well-known software programmes such as Word, Excel and Outlook, this also includes, for example online applications, mobile ‘apps’, computer games and ’embedded’ software that is incorporated in products.
Software is first and foremost protected under copyright law (see also IE & Advertising). The protection comes into effect at the moment the software is programmed. The prerequisite for this is that it is sufficiently original (original). The question of copyright ownership of software can be complicated because it is often programmed by several people, irrespective of whether they are (self-)employed or not. There are also certain specific rules regarding ‘fake’ software to determine whether there has been a copyright infringement.
Software can also be protected under patent law, in the vernacular referred to as ‘patents’. Patent protection may be granted on the basis of the product or processes that make up part of a technical invention.
Open source software (OSS)
Open source software has taken off in recent decades. Open source software is software, the source code of which is openly available for adaptation and development. A common misconception with regards to open source software is that it does not fall under the word of the law. This could not be further from the truth: open source software is also protected by copyright law, or where appropriate, by patent law. Users and developers of open source software must therefore, as is the case with ‘regular’ software, keep to the terms and conditions imposed by the copyright holder(s). In many cases, one of those conditions is that the customised source code must be made available to the public. Not acting in accordance with the licensing conditions is considered in the majority of cases to be an ‘infringement’ of the rights of the copyright holder. When using open source software it is important to pay attention to what the terms and conditions of the licence are and which apply (this can be several), such as those regarding guarantee and liability exclusions.
Demands for eCommerce
To protect the interests of consumers who make purchases over the Internet, by telephone, or through other means of remote sales, remote sellers are bound by certain rules. In particular, they must fulfil certain obligations with regards to the provision of information and take account of the statutory cooling-off period. Neglecting these duties can have serious consequences such as the ability of the consumer to rescind the contract up to a period of 12 months. This applies in a similar vein to electronic business carried out with corporate clients. There are legal issues that need to be considered, such as the correct way of making the general terms and conditions electronically available.
Domain name disputes
When registering a domain name the following principle applies: first come, first served. An exception to this is if the domain name corresponds to a trademark or brand name of another in a manner which is not permissible. Examples of this are potentially confusing domain names for websites with only links to other websites through which products or services are offered that compete with those of the trademark or brand name holder. In addition, registering a domain name in some alternative way may be considered illegal.
Below is a list of the partners who are specialised in Information Technology (IT) law.