SaaS customers often delay payment of invoices. In order to protect your SaaS business and improve cash flow, SaaS suppliers usually include the right to claim interest on late payments in the terms of their SaaS agreement or rely on their statutory right to interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (Act”). However, following the decision in Martrade Shipping and Transport GmbH v United Enterprises Corporation SaaS suppliers should be aware of the limitations of relying upon the Act, particularly where the SaaS customer or SaaS supplier is a non UK entity.Continue reading
Many SaaS suppliers use personal data, collected on behalf of SaaS customers, in an anonymised form for their own purposes, such as benchmarking. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Anonymisation Code and more recently the Article 29 Working Party’s Opinion on Anonymisation provide guidance on how to check that personal data is actually anonymous.
If you are a SaaS provider using anonymised personal data you should comply with the recommendations in these two guides, to ensure that you are properly anonymising data, otherwise you could be found to be using personal data in breach of the DPA.Continue reading
Heads of terms are often by SaaS suppliers where the final terms of the SaaS agreement have not yet been fully agreed with the SaaS customer. By using heads of terms the SaaS supplier can start to provide the SaaS services to the SaaS customer. However sometimes the parties are unaware of, or overlook, the legal implications and dangers of using heads of terms prior to finalising the terms of the SaaS agreement.
A recent court case in the UK highlights these problems.Continue reading
UK SaaS suppliers who provide cloud computing services to SaaS customers located outside of the UK are increasingly being required to comply not just with UK data protection law, but also the data protection laws of the countries in which the SaaS customer and its clients are based. This increasingly creates problems for SaaS suppliers, as data protection laws generally assume that data is stored/processed in one place. However when operating in the cloud data is often moved between jurisdictions and often it may be unclear exactly where data is being stored or processed and who is storing and processing it.
Two recent cases against Facebook and Google show the extent of this developing problem.Continue reading
If you decide to use a local partner to resell your SaaS software to customers outside of the countries in which you are based, you will need to have an international distribution/reseller agreement in place between yourself and each distributor/reseller. What is a Reseller/Distributor? A reseller is the same asContinue reading
Many SaaS customers falsely believe that if their SaaS data is stored in a data centre located in the EU it will be protected against disclosure to the US authorities. This is incorrect. The recent US court ruling against Microsoft has confirmed the position, namely that SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers who use data centres located in the EU, owned by US companies, cannot prevent US authorities from accessing their data.Continue reading
Employees are increasingly using their privately owned devices (i.e. Ipads, tablets, mobile phones and laptops) for business purposes and may be accessing SaaS customer data using them. SaaS suppliers who allow staff to use such “bring your own devices” (BYOD) for work purposes should be aware of their duties to protect any SaaS customer personal data being accessed by staff using such BYODs.Continue reading
SaaS customers often complain that the security provisions in SaaS agreements are inadequate and lack transparency. Following a risk assessment, often using external auditors and regulators, SaaS customers often ask SaaS suppliers to add numerous additional terms and warranties to their SaaS terms. By including the security provisions set out below in your standard SaaS agreement, SaaS suppliers can avoid having more rigorous provisions imposed upon them.Continue reading
SaaS suppliers making online sales of SaaS services to business customers in the UK need to ensure that they have the necessary legal documents and information available on their website to comply with English law. Simply having a SaaS agreement online will not cover all legal obligations in the UK when providing SaaS services online. Below is a summary of the documents and information that you should have available on a UK website.Continue reading
European data protection authorities have recently raised serious reservations about the effectiveness of the safe harbour scheme and its ability to adequately protect SaaS customer data to the same standard as European data protection laws. If you are a SaaS supplier and are considering/or are already using a company located in the US to provide part of your SaaS services i.e. for hosting, you should be aware of the existence and limitations of the safe harbor scheme.Continue reading