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Software Licences

Blacks Solicitors’ Commercial Law team regularly advise businesses in relation to the drafting and amendment of Software Agreements/Licences.

Whether you are purchasing or developing software, it is essential to ensure you have an appropriate Software Agreement or Licence in place, stipulating what can and can’t be done with the software.

A Software Licence will usually cover the following matters:

  • The installation and testing of the software
  • The use of the software
  • Any rights to copy, modify or redistribute the software

From standardised, ‘off-the-shelf’ software to bespoke software customised to meet the individual requirements of the end user, our Commercial Law team will provide clear, industry specific advice to help ensure your business is protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a Software Licence?

As a software developer, having put a significant amount of time and money into developing your software, no doubt you will want to make sure that there is a way to protect it. Putting a well drafted Software Licence in place helps to protect you and/or your business by:

  • Preventing abuse of your software by restricting a customer’s usage of it, and restricting users from attempting to replicate it or copy it for their own benefit
  • Limiting any claims that users may have against you, for example by including disclaimers relating to potential bugs in the software, downtime, or loss of data

Who owns the intellectual property rights in the software or source code?

As a software developer, by licencing your software (as opposed to selling it), you can generate income from the software but still retain the rights to it. Without an express Agreement to the contrary, the default position is that the developer will have ownership of the software and the source code.

However, if you are commissioning the development of bespoke software to use in your business, you will no doubt want to ensure that any Contract or Agreement between you and the developer assigns the Intellectual Property rights in the software and ownership of the source code to you.


To find out how Blacks’ Commercial Law team can assist you with a Software Licence/Agreement, please email or call us today on 0113 207 0000.

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