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Preparation of a license contract

Computer programs (software) form a separate object of intellectual property; its author and right holder may be different persons.

The right to use a computer program may be transferred by the author or the right holder to a third party under a license contract.

There are two types of licenses for intellectual property objects, including computer programs:

  • an exclusive license;
  • an open or non-exclusive license.

Under an exclusive license the right holder transfers the right to use a computer program in full, thus depriving himself of the possibility of transferring the right to this program to other persons, and in certain cases he will not be able to use it further and independently.

On the contrary, a non-exclusive license allows the right holder to use the computer program independently and transfer such a possibility to third parties without any limitations.

Conditions that should be obligatorily stipulated in a license contract on software:

  • License term. It is to be noted that if a contract does not stipulate the license term, then, according to the general rule, this term is 5 years from the contract date. Also, a license may not be valid for a period ending after expiration of the period of validity of the licensor's exclusive right to this intellectual property object.
  • Territory in which it is valid;
  • Purposes and methods of using the license. A licensee of software may acquire the right to it for the purpose of using it independently or for the purpose of disseminating the product, including using it in a software package.

Depending on a method and purpose of use, a license for a computer program may be granted for: reproduction (setup, start, installation), dissemination (provision to other users for downloading), modification and revision (introduction into a software package), etc.

Specialists of our Patent Bureau are ready to assist you in drafting a license contract for a computer program correctly, stipulate all essential conditions therein, and ensure rights and interests of the licensee and those of the right holder.