Other Intellectual Property Laws Applicable to IT Components: IT Components and Contracts

AutorProf. Dr. Isabel Hernando
Cargo del AutorOther Intellectual Property Laws Applicable to IT Components: IT Components and Contracts

IT Components and Contracts.

Information technology contracts, like any contract, are intended to stipulate the obligations and rights of the contracting parties, and can cover a variety of products, services and data. Among the many types of IT contracts, the following are most common:

  1. Software Licenses

    With respect to standard software, the types of licenses may include the following:

    1. Shrink-wrap Licenses. Shrink-wrap licenses are applied to software intended for use with personal computers and are sold in large quantities through distribution chains to final users. In view of the practical impossibility of entering into license agreements in a one-on-one negotiated context with each end user, software manufacturers have adopted this method, whereby the terms and conditions of the license appear on the outer part of the software package, visible through the plastic wrapping. Acceptance and agreement by the consumer with such terms and conditions is deemed to occur upon the opening of the package.

      The terms of the license are standard, non-negotiable and usually include a license to use the software subject to restrictions as well as disclaimers with respect to any responsibility for the software except in cases where a guarantee against physical flaws of the diskette is included, or in some cases, where a guarantee for the software is present (usually for a limited period of time that varies between 60 and 90 days).

      Under certain circumstances and in some jurisdictions these types of licenses are called 'contracts of adhesion' and the applicability of some of their provisions may be challenged under national laws to the same extent as disclaimers of all forms of liability may be. In some cases, 'contracts of adhesion' may not be permitted since they are considered contrary to consumer protection laws that apply in sales to end users.

    2. Direct licenses of software. These licenses are applied to standard software and are agreed upon between the software distributor and the final user. Pursuant to this agreement, the licensor allows the licensee to use the software, in its CPU for private use. In cases where the use of the software is used by a group of companies or will be accessed remotely, such use must be expressly authorized under the license.

  2. Software Development Contracts

    Software development contracts are used for software that is developed or customized on request and are signed by the software manufacturer/designer and the...

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