The importance of formalization

In the ideal world of law, every business relationship between an IT service provider and a customer would be secured by a contract. This invaluable document frames obligations, determines intellectual property and sets financial terms. But what happens when this formality is omitted?

The illusion of mutual trust

It’s not uncommon for two companies to collaborate for years without ever formalizing their relationship in a contract. Mutual trust seems to suffice. The service provider regularly invoices for his services, but these invoices often fail to mention the crucial question of the intellectual property of the code produced

The ownership dilemma

The client company might think: « I’ve paid for it, so it belongs to me ». However, the service provider might have a different view: « The customer paid for the service, not for ownership of the code ». So who really owns the code?

Legal complexity

According to the French Intellectual Property Code, the transfer of intellectual property rights requires a written contract with specific mentions. Without this, the service provider generally remains the owner of the code. However, the customer can at least claim an operating license, enabling him to use the code for his own needs, without owning the rights to it

Solutions to clarify the situation

  1. Anticipate with a contract: Right from the start of the collaboration, it’s best to sign a contract to avoid any misunderstandings. This is the ideal solution.
  2. Regularize the situation: If the relationship has already been established without a contract, it is always possible to sign an assignment or license agreement, after negotiating the value of the intellectual property rights.

Our firm specializes in digital law, and we are here to guide you and negotiate alongside you in these delicate situations. We can help you secure your business relationships and clarify your rights. If you would like to benefit from our support, please do not hesitate to contact our team.