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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9338
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Company uses software and has done years. Verbal agreement

Resolved Question:

Company uses software and has done for 10 years. Verbal agreement with writer of the software who gets monthly payment for support and development. Who owns the software? if there is no agreement IN WRITING transferring the IP rights to the software, those rights BELONG TO THE SOFTWARE AUTHOR IMPLICITLY. Is this correct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If the author of a work is employed then the IP belongs to the employer. If the author is self-employed, then the IP belongs to the author.

There may be an agreement which changes that.

However, the agreement does not have to be in writing, of verbal agreement is perfectly enforceable provided the terms of the agreement are not in dispute and provided the actual existence of that verbal agreement is not in dispute.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.

FES.

Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If the author of a work is employed then the IP belongs to the employer. If the author is self-employed, then the IP belongs to the author.

There may be an agreement which changes that.

However, the agreement does not have to be in writing, a verbal agreement is perfectly enforceable provided the terms of the agreement are not in dispute and provided the actual existence of that verbal agreement is not in dispute.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

It does not cost you anything but helped me greatly.

Best wishes.

FES.

F E Smith and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for that...Does it make a difference legally that the company is UK-based and the software designer is self-employed in Poland?
The verbal agreement was with one director on a licencing basis in 2006. The other director is claiming the software is now owned by the company.