Contract Negotiation and Management for Tech Developers

Contract Negotiation and Management for Tech Developers

While contract management may seem like a clear and logical task for business leaders entering the tech startup world, it’s easy to overlook the complex contractual details in this specialized area of law.

Here are a few contract negotiation and management tips to help you prioritize your needs and meet your business goals.

Know what you own.

As a developer, copyright laws grant you ownership of your product from the moment you hit the ‘save’ button. Any design and creative content that went into the work also falls into this category.

When you allow someone else (whether a client, an employee or any other third party) to use your intellectual property, your should document how and to what extent you are allowing them to use your intellectual property. When drafting the relevant agreement, consider these elements:

  • The other party should represent that you own the rights and title to your intellectual property (IP);
  • Specifically describe the intellectual property (the type of software, the rights to use your name, logo, brand, etc.;
  • The other party should represent that entering into the agreement does not violate any other contract (e.g. a non-compete agreement) or the intellectual property rights of any other party.

Non-disclosure agreements often accompany the on-boarding process for people who are working in potentially data-sensitive environments. It’s important to take the time to assess all aspects of the creative process to identify potential pitfalls and bridge any gaps in your agreement’s language.

Know who you’ll hire.

Many tech startups turn to freelance contractors to provide additional knowledge and experience they may not be able to afford with their full-time teams. If you’re hiring contractors, you’ll want to be sure that you have a work-for-hire agreement in place, which indisputably gives you rights to any work produced while you are engaing contractors.

Know who will use your product.

In an ideal world, you’re creating technology that will make the world happier, more efficient, friendlier, or provide some other enhancement that consumers will want to use regularly.

A smartly-drafted license agreement can strengthen your position when you’re ready to put your product on the market for public consumption.

With this type of agreement, you’ll have the ability to control usage and accessibility based on elements such as:

  • Project scope
  • Premium pay for exclusive use of the code
  • Usage permissions that allow your clients to use the tools you’ve provided via code or tools that actually belong to you

Know how to protect the privacy of your consumers.

Privacy policies can be tricky, and there are plenty of variations on the subject all over the world. As a tech company, your target audience could be anywhere in the world, which means you could have exposure to a number of different privacy policies. Some companies provide privacy policies because certain countries require them while others simply see this transparency as the right way to do business.

Before you begin your journey as an entrepreneur, it is imperative to seek proper counsel to ensure that your business and intellectual properties are properly protected. We have a wide range of successful experiences with Atlanta tech startups, contact us at (678) 331-7274 for a free consultation.

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