SaaS Agreements – FAQs – What is SaaS and Essential Terms to include in a SaaS Agreement

SaaS is the abbreviation for “software as a service”. You may know this under another name, for example subscription agreement, software on demand, software subscription agreement, cloud computing or ASP services (application service provider). These names all refer to the same thing – software being made available via the Internet to users.

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SaaS Agreements – Brexit – Amendments to Terms and Conditions

SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers are becoming increasingly concerned about the effect of “Brexit” upon the terms of their existing SaaS agreements, particularly where contracts are subject to English law or SaaS suppliers or customers are located within the UK. Below is a summary of the main issues that SaaS suppliers need to be aware of that may result in problems arising now or in the future with the terms of their existing SaaS agreements.

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SaaS Agreements – Reseller Agreements – Price Fixing

SaaS suppliers and SaaS resellers should be aware that price fixing is illegal under UK and EU competition law. Often SaaS resellers are not aware that the terms of their SaaS reseller agreement include price fixing clauses. For example: If the SaaS reseller agreement includes clause on resale price maintenance (RPM). This will usually be deemed to be price fixing by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) who investigates breaches of competition law in the UK.

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SaaS Agreements – Legal Implications of Brexit

SaaS suppliers and SaaS customers wondering about the business implications of a Brexit and how to prepare for this should be aware of the following. Despite the result of the referendum in the UK indicating that the UK will leave the European Union (EU), currently this has no legal consequence or effect upon the operations of SaaS suppliers or SaaS customers.

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SaaS Agreements – Terms and Conditions – Limitation Clauses

SaaS suppliers should always include limitation clauses in their SaaS terms and conditions to attempt to limit or exclude liability for certain types of losses and to cap their financial liability for breaches of contract. However, in order for limitation clauses to be valid, SaaS suppliers must ensure that the wording of the limitation clause is clear and unambiguous, otherwise the whole clause could be ruled void by a court and the SaaS supplier’s liability will then be unlimited.

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SaaS Agreements – Data Protection – EU US Privacy Shield

A new privacy agreement called the Privacy Shield has been agreed by the US and EU to replace the safe harbour scheme. The Privacy Shield is based upon safe harbour but has additional protections, particularly with regard to public authority access to personal data. The Privacy Shield must now be reviewed by the European Commission before it can be relied upon and adopted by SaaS suppliers or customers. The European Commission is currently assessing whether or not the Privacy Shield provides adequate protection in accordance with EU data protection laws. This process is expected to take up to 3 months.

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SaaS Agreements – International Agreements – Valid Execution

Where an international SaaS agreement is entered into between a non-UK SaaS customer and a non-UK company of a SaaS supplier the parties should ensure that the SaaS agreement has been properly executed in accordance with the law of the country of incorporation of each company. Even where the SaaS

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SaaS Agreements – International Agreements – Interest on Late Payments

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.

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