Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hi, I hope someone could help me with a contract dispute. I own a small company that deals with rental properties. I designed an excel software which I have been using for some years. I met a gentleman at my business networking group, who works for a design company with whom I had had numerous conversations over a year. I decided to show them my excel spreadsheet and I asked them to translate it into an App. We signed a contract but after construction of the App, I discovered that they have kept the full rights to my App. I have been asked to pay not only the full price to build the app, but also a yearly Licence fee to run it and I still do not have any rights to leave them. If I decided to leave, I would loose everything I had paid for. I am in a way trapped. I hvae investigated the matter with other App developpers who explained to me that I should not be charged twice. The norme is to charge clients either a Licence fee and the developper keeps the ownership of the App, or the client pays a full price and the customer own sthe rights. In my case, I am paying both and own nothing. My question to you is, how do I get out of a contract which i signed in total ignorance?
There is no termination clause in the contract.
Hi Alex, it is my work but they designed it into an App for me.
Did you ever assign the intellectual property to them please?
By law, it is a "work made for hire" which means that theorically I should own the rights to the source code. I did not know this before signing the contract.
What does the contract say about the intellectual property?
It says that they own it
I feel tricked in a way.
Didnt you read it before you signed it?
I did, but I did not understand what it meant. I did not know that I could never leave them. If I leave, I will lose everything I had paid for.
Did you not take legal advice?
No I didn't.
Its bad news then I am afraid
If it says it in the contract and you didnt read it, if you went to Court a Judge would ask you why not
The Judge would also say that as a businessman (developer) then you could and should have taken legal advice or read it
You may have a claim for your IP but with the contract saying they own the IP for the work they do - it may be possible to claim the IP work you have done but not theirs
But sadly the contract appears to be binding
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
What about the nature of the contract which is anti consumer in the first place?
surely, the contract was not based on honesty.
You are not a consumer, its not a consumer contract
the nature of the work given follows a different law.
You own a small company that deal with excel software.
You contracted another company
Its not consumer law
I am sorry
I am a property manager. I do not own a software company. I designed a spreadsheet to help manage my portfolio.
Yes. But you did not act as a consumer
You sadly signed a contract either without reading or understand it and didn't take legal advice.
You are bound by that contract, I am sorry
A consumer is for example buying from a shop or other matter
Lesson learned. Thank you for your help.
I am sorry its not better news I really am
If I could invite you to rate my service before you go, if the system wont let you please tell me
If you need more help, please click reply
ok. Have a nice day.
Hi Alex, I am not able to rate you because when I click on the smily face, nothing happens.