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RFC Express - New IP Lawsuits

Lawyering Your Company’s Transition to Software as a Service

By Paul Durdik1

New marching orders from your CEO inform you that your company is adopting a Software as a Service (SaaS) business model.  How will you adapt?


As a general counsel, you’re well versed in meeting the legal needs of your employer, a company that has been producing and selling a software product successfully for some time.  Change has come, however, and you’ve just received new marching orders from the CEO – your company will adopt a Software as a Service business model.  This means that instead of marketing software for sale as a product, your company will increasingly focus on delivering services to customers over the net.  You’re not alone; the Gartner Group estimates that by 2011, 25% of all software will be delivered using a Software as a Service business model.  You’ve got work to do.  Where do you begin?

Customer Agreements

Let’s start with the most important thing to a company – the customer.  You can begin by preparing a Subscription Agreement that defines your relationship with your customers.  This takes the place of, and may include a number of provisions common to, the Software License Agreements with which you are already familiar.  Like the Software License, your Subscription Agreement will include sections describing what you will provide and how much the ...

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