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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1611
Experience:  Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
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I have red a freelancer to develop a mobile app, and I am

Customer Question

I have hired a freelancer to develop a mobile app, and I am concerned with the contract that we have signed. The red flag that I see is regarding the 'Proprietary Rights'. Does contract imply that the service provider owns the rights to product's code?
Does it mean that we will not be able to do anything with the product/source code if we choose to switch to another programmer/developer? I can attach the contract for review. The freelancer is based in Ottawa, CA and we are based in Charleston, SC. They have
done minimal work for us, but we are about to agree to another project set that will include more extensive changes to the product. We just want to make sure that we won't have our hands tied with the product we are trying to market in the event of discontinuing
a working relationship with this freelancing team. Any review/interpretation of the contract, and suggestions moving forward with the next big agreement will be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is***** am going to assist you with your question. Please give me some time to respond.

Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

After reviewing the document, it seems to state that the Provider will maintain all rights in anything they provide to the customer including any services or documents. Furthermore, the document provides that the Client shall maintain rights to anything the Client provides to the Provider.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that is what the contract states, but can you explain what it means?Below are some questions to hopefully help guide you to the answer we are looking for…I (client) provide conceptual functions for the mobile product, and they interpret the ideas and they implement them into product in the form of computer programming ‘source code’.Does this mean that the product (the mobile app) that they build belongs to them and not us? The end plan is to build the user volume and then sell the product. Does the contract imply that they own the product, and will have rights to what we do with it (sell it)?Are rights to ‘services or documents’ including the code that they put into the product? Once the project is finished do they have the right to withhold the source code that they have programmed into the product?
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

No. It does not mean that the mobile app belongs to them. They do not own the product. They own whatever trade secrets, services, documents, etc. that they provide you and you own whatever information you provide them in developing the app. You cannot take their ideas, information, etc. and run off to their competitor and use that to build your app with them and they cannot steal your ideas and build the app for themselves.

They do not have the right to withhold the source code.

It is mutually protective language.