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
SaaS customers are increasingly asking for disaster recover provisions to be included within the terms of a SaaS agreement to ensure that they have access to their data and continuity of service if a problem arises at the SaaS supplier’s data centre. The costs of providing disaster recovery used to be prohibitive, due to the requirement of having mirrored servers and transferring data, however there is now a new market opening up with former escrow providers offering a variety of disaster recovery options at affordable prices.Continue reading
SaaS suppliers are increasingly dealing with subject access requests (SARs) and freedom of information requests (FOIAs) in relation to SaaS customers. Excessive time and costs can be spent dealing with such requests, unless a SaaS supplier’s obligation to comply with or assist a SaaS customer with such requests is clearly defined in the terms of the SaaS agreement.Continue reading
Customers are increasingly attempting to renegotiate the terms of existing SaaS agreements, to reduce costs as more SaaS suppliers enter the market offering competing and cheaper SaaS services. In order to pre-empt such discussions SaaS suppliers should review their current SaaS agreements to ensure that they have the following terms in place to deal with and counter such requests.Continue reading
From April 2014 the UK government plans to change the Insolvency Act under the provisions of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA). This will make the SaaS supplier’s right to terminate or alter the terms of an existing SaaS agreement if a SaaS customer becomes insolvent. From this data no SaaS agreement may be terminated or have the pricing and payment terms changed due to a customer’s insolvency. Furthermore the SaaS supplier must continue to provide SaaS services without receiving any payment or having any right to arrears.Continue reading
Increasingly SaaS suppliers encourage employees to use social media accounts i.e. LinkedIn and Twitter to promote their products and business. However this often results in a conflict arising between claims of misuse of confidential information and “ownership” of accounts and contacts when the employment relationship comes to an end.
The High Court has recently highlighted the need for SaaS suppliers to have a clear policy on the ownership of such social media accounts and contacts when they are used by employees for business purposes.Continue reading
The issue of software patents has recently been highlighted by a proposal to change German patent and copyright law. The proposal recommends preventing computer software being registered as a patent, arguing that computer software should only be protected using copyright law, as this is sufficient to protect a software developer’s rights. In light of the current German proposal, below is a brief summary of patent and copyright law in relation to SaaS software in the UK, Germany and non-EU countries.Continue reading
It is important to understand the difference between applicable law and applicable jurisdiction when negotiating a SaaS agreement. Applicable law specifies which country’s laws will apply to your SaaS agreement. Jurisdiction specifies which courts will have authority to deal with a dispute. Usually a UK SaaS agreement will specify the laws of England and Wales as the applicable law and the courts of England will have jurisdiction.Continue reading
In the current economic climate, SaaS customers often deliberately delay payment of invoices. In order to protect your SaaS business and improve your cash flow, you should consider including the following in the terms of your SaaS agreement.Continue reading
When negotiating a SaaS agreement you will come across the terms source code, object code and open source. What is the difference if any between source code, object code and open source?
Source code is the version of a computer programme (SaaS software) that exists prior to the software being ready to compile and run on a computer. The source code consists of a number of statements created in a text form by a programmer. These statements are saved in a named file and are called the source code.Continue reading