San Jose Software License Agreements Lawyer

The software license agreement is an oft-overlooked part of any initial business planning. Although it may not be part of your actual product offering itself, a software license agreement provides security and peace of mind to both providers and end-users.

Because this agreement is incredibly valuable to your product, it is always recommended to find a legal professional with previous experience in agreement drafting to help draw up your software license agreement, revise any existing agreements, or review any previous agreements to ensure they still protect your property.

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What Are Software License Agreements?

A software license agreement is a basic agreement between you and your customers for use of the programs/services you have the rights to. Also known as an end user license agreement, it gives specific details on how exactly they can use your program – along with any guidelines regarding copying, modifications and any clear consequences for breaking this agreement.

Why You Need a Software License Agreement?

A software license program can provide benefits to both users and your business in this way by:

  • Preventing software abuse. Without an agreement that strictly details terms of use, a user may have free reign to copy, redistribute, or otherwise replicate your program for their benefit.
  • Allowing licensing – not selling. A customer does not spend money to purchase your program – he or she spends money to purchase the rights to use this program. A proper software agreement can make this distinction so disputes of true ownership are not a legitimate issue.
  • Disclosing disclaimers of warranties. A disclaimer of warranty gives users a realistic expectation of usage. This may be something as simple as no guarantees of no software bugs, system failures, or other downtime that can affect the usage of your device.
  • Limiting liability. An agreement can create a barrier that protects you from any legal action by lifting the direct liability from your company.
  • Allowing the termination of use at any time with no problems. In case of potential issues, this can allow you to temporarily suspend or outright terminate the use of your program at any time. In certain cases, this can benefit both the users and your company.

What Should Be in a Software License Agreement?

The typical structure of a software license agreement should be as follows:

  • General agreement. The general bigger picture ideas – the terms of the agreement, when the agreement goes into effect, and the type of agreement.
  • Parties involved. This defines specifically all those involved in this contract. That includes you, the business, along with the user and contact information, which can include name, address, and other contact information.
  • Agreement terms. The more detailed terms of the agreement. This can include price of the license, maintenance information, whether you are purchasing a site license, any support, and or refund information.
  • Fine details. This may detail other specifics not otherwise covered, including security, liability, and consequences for breach of contract.

It’s also important to include some key clauses to help reinforce your terms and protect your program from fraudulent, malicious activity:

  • Non-exclusivity. This allows you to sell your license for your program to other users.
  • Non-transferability. This prevents users from transferring their license to other parties.
  • Rights. This confirms that the rights of your software remain with your company even after the agreement is signed.
  • Modifications. This prevents any modifications from being made on your program.
  • Breach of contract. This notifies users that any violations of the terms will result in a breach of contract.
  • Device usage. This details the specific usage of your software. Can a single license be used on one computer or multiple computers – or can it also be used in a mobile platform?
  • Limitation of liability. This prevents a user from taking legal action against you for any issues with the product you have offered to them.
  • Terms of termination. This details what must happen after the agreement is terminated. This can reiterate details on what to do with the program upon termination.
  • Any governing laws. This details the governing law for any disputes and is usually set for your state and jurisdiction to prevent court proceedings from occurring anywhere in the world.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Although templates for software license agreements are readily available, a startup lawyer with experience in writing these can be invaluable to your company. He or she can:

Whether or not you have an existing software license agreement in place, a dedicated startup lawyer can provide the assistance necessary to properly secure the rights of your product.