Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Intellectual Property Law
This answer was rated:

Company A hires a sub-contractor to write an application to

work with specific software....
Company A hires a sub-contractor to write an application to work with specific software. There is no written contract between Company A and the sub-contractor beyond the “service quote”, this quote lists exact what the sub-contract will do for Company A. it is understood from many years of work between the 2 parties that Company A would pay the sub-contractor x number of dollars and hour for their work and the hours are also listed on this quote but not the hourly rate to be paid to the sub-contractor. Wouldn’t that be the contract between these 2 parties?

Company A’s lawyer is now claiming that they have a non-exclusive implied license for the software above. It appears the sub-contract has no recourse against this claim, sub-contractor cannot afford to hire a lawyer and legal aid cannot help because the sub-contract makes $97.47 too much per month from their social security disability checks to qualify.

the software above is a 3rd party application written for an ERP called PFW. Sage is retiring PFW in March of 2014 but all users that want the “free” new software from Sage called Sage 300 must upgrade before Oct 2013.

Because the service quotes say the software (3rd party application) is designed to ONLY work with PFW and it would take a great deal of work to modify it to work with anything else. Doesn’t that mean when Company A’s clients upgrade to Sage 300 the implied license to use the application expires? And isn’t it copyright infringement (the sub-contractor is the sole owner of the copyright) to use part or all of the application to create a new application to work with Sage 300?

if this is correct what is needed are court cases or something that can be used against Company A and their lawyer.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Answered in 12 minutes by:
7/16/2013
Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 24,870
Experience: 20 years law experience
Verified

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


Sorry for your situation.

In the past when this person has done work for the company - have they ever demanded that they own the rights to such work?
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

 


Not sure I understand your question. Are you asking at any point did the sub-contract inform company A, they owned the rights to the work?


 


I should point out in this situation I am the sub-contractor.


 


No I never informed company A in writing I owned full rights to the software based on my understanding of how this worked is unless I sign away my rights to things I create they belong to me aka there was no work made for hire contract. I don’t even know until I received the letter from Company A's lawyer there was such a ting as an implied license


 


hope that answered your question

Oh, I thought you were from Company A.

In the past when you did work for Company A - did you own the rights to the work?
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

 


I am unsure how to answer that question. What do you mean by own? I designed the work from scratch using only my knowledge to do so. I am the sole author of the work. The only thing company A would do is say client x need some work done contact them and get the details and write up a quote.


 


Sorry to repeat myself but just want to be clear about this, I never signed away any rights to the work to anyone.

I'm going to opt out because I think you need someone more knowledgable than I about intellectual property law.

I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other professionals. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active, or rate this question yet as it would then discourage others from answering. Should a professional pick it up, you should be alerted via email and/or SMS (text message) unless you actively disable these features.

There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying a response from someone else.
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
Verified
Thank you for your question. A different professional here. Please allow me to assist you if I can.

I have reviewed the dialogue between you and the previous professional and believe I understand the situation. Have you, at any time, been employed for A as an employee, or have you always been a sub-contractor?
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

i was never an employee of company A i was always a sub-contractor.

Thank you for your follow-up.

One final question if I may--how long did you work for this company as a sub-contractor, and did you ever create other applications or code for them while working for them?
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I worked on and off with Company A for about 6 years and yes there are at least 5 projects I did for them, application count is closer to 30 because some projects required several applications to complete the project/contract…


 


All work was done strictly for PFW. And it will not work with any other ERP with out a great deal of work done to the original application.


 


Other information:


Company A's lawyer says they have a non-exclusive implied license. Even though I do not agree with his analysis of the facts I do not think I am able to disprove his theory. I am more interested with does the non-exclusive implied license expire when Company A's customers move to new software like Sage 300.


 


my argument is the service quotes that say its an application for PFW is the contract between myself and company A and since its no longer going to be used for PFW doesn’t that terminate the contract and in response the implied license?

Thank you for your follow-up.

I tend to somewhat agree with their attorney's interpretation. They have an implied license even if that was not contracted for in your agreement because you built the code directly for their use (which is what grants them the license), but beyond that you retain all other rights to the code that you created for them since intellectual property is retained by the contractor by default. If any changes are made to your code without your consent, it would be a direct infringement of your copyright. If the company does not use your code but you built it for them they still retain an implied license since they retain the right to use that code at any future point going forward.

 

Hope that clarifies.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

ok i think you lost me, are you saying a non-exclusve implied license only allows the licensee the right to USE, copy and distribute the work they cannot make changes to it? so they cannot take my work and change it to make it work with a totally different ERP?


 


compnay A broke privilage a week ago and sent me an a-mail that also whent to their lawyer stating they have already made changes to my work...

Thank you for your follow-up. I would be happy to clarify.

A license, any license, grants the person or entity the right to use a product (or software) but it does not transfer ownership rights or a right to modify the code. They cannot make changes to something that they have an implied license for--they can arguably claim they have a license based on the fact that they purchased your services to create the work for them, but as you retained all other rights, they cannot MODIFY the work as it is not theirs to modify. They cannot, therefore, take your work and change it into something else. That would be copyright infringement and something that should you choose to pursue, you would be able to pursue and likely prevail under. They would only be able to modify if you granted them a license with that specific permission (which you did not), or you transferred your rights to the code to them via contract.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
Verified
Dimitry K., Esq. and 87 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
41,221 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.

Dimitry K., Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Alex Reese

Alex Reese

Lawyer

3,106 satisfied customers

Experienced in intellectual property law

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Lawyer

859 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

41,221 satisfied customers

I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.

Thomas Swartz

Thomas Swartz

Lawyer

461 satisfied customers

Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

455 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney in private practice.

Wilton A. Person

Wilton A. Person

Lawyer

352 satisfied customers

MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law

BartEsq

BartEsq

Researcher

192 satisfied customers

Juris Doctor

< Previous | Next >

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions
My question is about U.S. copyright law. My father, who
My question is about U.S. copyright law. My father, who passed away in July of 2017, owns copyrights on a number of plays that he wrote. I am the executor and sole beneficiary of his estate. Is there … read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
859 satisfied customers
I recently received a letter about copyright infringement
Hello, I recently received a letter about copyright infringement regarding a photo I had posted on my blog 2 years ago. … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,287 satisfied customers
I am looking for someone to look for a copyright owner to
I am looking for someone to look for a copyright owner to get permission for photos to present in my boook and someone to cite the documents … read more
Kendell Kelly, Esq
Kendell Kelly, Esq
Kendell R Kelly, Esq
Doctoral Degree
588 satisfied customers
I want to obtain copyrights for a group of songs that I will
I want to obtain copyrights for a group of songs that I will be recording and preforming with my band. Do I need to obtain a separate copyright for each song, or can I accomplish the same thing by cop… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,287 satisfied customers
Someone asked you before about intellectual property law
Someone asked you before about intellectual property law regarding Coolsculpting and fat question: whether it is possible to legally provide the treatments to clients with different machines than the … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I need help with music things. Copyrights and trademarks. If
I need help with music things. Copyrights and trademarks … read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,537 satisfied customers
I'm contacting you regarding an intellectual property law
Good morning,I'm contacting you regarding an intellectual property law question which could also effect trademark law. To understand the complete scenario, please let me explain as follows. I have cur… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
I am an international in America. I wish to copyright my
I am an international in America. I wish to copyright my material. What is the safest site to do it on? … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
DMCA subpoenas are only for copyright iinfrigement what
Hi DMCA subpoenas are only for copyright iinfrigement what about for Trademark infringment … read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,596 satisfied customers
I got a copyright infringement notice from Servpro.com. We
I got a copyright infringement notice from Servpro.com. We have owned a website for several years called serviceproslocal.com. They are requesting us stop using the website which we have invested 100'… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
455 satisfied customers
I received a copyright infringement notice from a company in
I received a copyright infringement notice from a company in Toronto CA. They apparently found a cartoon photo on my blog from 2014. I was unaware it was copyrighted. They are asking $2940.00, I'm in … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
455 satisfied customers
I have received a copyright infringement notice that has to
I have received a copyright infringement notice that has to be replied by January 26. My crime is that I had uploaded soft copy of a book on Kijiji.ca for sale. After I received the mail, I have delet… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
I received notice of copyright infringement from an
I received notice of copyright infringement from an pornographic website that I once subscribed to in 2011. The claim is that I uploaded their property to a torrent site. (I do not even know how to do… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,693 satisfied customers
I have received a copyright infringement notice from an
Hi I have received a copyright infringement notice from an attorney in Germany and I am in the US. It's an old site that I haven't touched in 2 years. The image had no text to it and I took it down … read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
859 satisfied customers
Copyright infringement by using software and the internet
copyright infringement by using software and the internet for allegedly downloading the film I got this letter and wanted to see what needs to be done at this point? … read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,537 satisfied customers
One of my customers has received a Copyright Infringement
One of my customers has received a Copyright Infringement Notice from their internet provider. The notice states that someone in a branch office has posted, transmitted, or shared with others certain … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I was wanting to know how I can avoid copyright infringement
I was wanting to know how I can avoid copyright infringement if I wanted to play music from my favorite artists on a podcast. … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have a copyright infringement accusation for an image used
Hi I have a copyright infringement accusation for an image used on my business website. They're asking for $3,000 to resolve the matter. Is there anything I can do? I had reference link to the image s… read more
Legalease
Legalease
Attorney At Law
Doctor of Law w/ highest honors
15,669 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x