In the IT world, collaboration between a computer scientist and a professional specializing in a specific field is common practice. Together, they design software, drawing on each other’s unique expertise. The computer scientist, without the specific know-how of the professional, would find himself limited in his creative abilities. Conversely, the professional, often lacking programming skills, needs the computer scientist to turn his ideas into reality.
These collaborations are not always accompanied by a formal contract. Where contracts do exist, they are often imperfect. This imperfection can be explained by the initial nature of the relationship, often based on trust and the desire simply to create a prototype. What’s more, the importance of law in these collaborations is often underestimated, partly due to the perception that legal services are costly and non-essential.
However, the absence of a clear legal framework can lead to costly complications, especially when the relationship between the parties deteriorates. Conflicts can arise around the intellectual property of the software created. Who, the computer scientist or the professional, owns the rights to the software? The answer is not always obvious, and depends on many factors, including the nature of each party’s contribution and the arrangements made at the start of the project.
In some cases, collaboration can be formalized through the creation of a joint venture. This approach may offer a clearer structure for managing intellectual property rights, but it is not without its challenges. Defining each party’s contribution and managing copyright can become complex, especially if the software is commercially successful.
A well thought-out contract and a clear understanding of intellectual property rights can prevent many conflicts and ensure a fruitful and fair collaboration for all parties involved. We can help you in this process: here you’ll find a presentation of our support method, and here you’ll find an idea of the budget.