INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATIONS

Information tech

Telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) has gained importance in our practice as information transmission increases in speed and volume.  Our TMT professionals have extensive experience in the sectors of fundamental and value-added telecommunications, mobile phone, e-commerce, mass media, publishing, broadcasting, entertainment, information protection, high technology products and related integrations and solutions.

Our clients are provided with advice tailored to the specific needs of that client in that particular industry, with a strong emphasis on matters of commercial and strategic importance to the client.

Our clients include some of the world’s largest media, communications and public relations firms, as well as entrepreneurial companies and telecommunications users.

List of our client

it galaxy        it dcfever        it bbpos        it liseng2        it elechem        it digital        it groupon         it 3C        it espidi        it gamexpert        it gct        it object valley        it groupbuyer        it forsa        it printrite         it prounited        it greentomato        it radica        it sunruby3D        it speedgroup        it asiapay        it silicon        it think        it version2

Brief Case #1

Meeting of the minds / Variation of Contract / Record of Change / Record of Instruction / Disputes

Case Scenario:

A contract was originally signed between a software provider (Vendor) and its client (Purchaser) for the sales and development of software. During the development of the software, it is not unusual for the Vendor to change the software system several times to cater to the demand of the Purchaser. The numerous changes can lead to unclear communication which in turn can cause a dispute between the two parties. The Vendor is ultimately concerned with whether they are liable should the Purchaser be unsatisfied with the end product and additionally, the ownership of the source code.

Advice to Client:

Reviewing all the documents of our client (Vendor) is a fundamental part of any case. Concerning software developers, it is imperative that the initial software development agreement (contract) and the correspondence between the two parties be prioritized. Because ultimately, the initial contract is what determines the end product’s features, specifications and functions.

The Court will review the initial contract and draw on the understanding of both parties at the signing of the contract (meeting of the minds). Should the end product meet the specification of the initial contract, the Purchaser must abide and pay for the work carried out. However, various changes to the specifications of the software may be altered during the development phase of the product. Should the Vendor and Purchaser both be willing, the contract can be changed (variation of contract).

The importance of the correspondence between the two parties is essential in regards to the variation of contract. The variation of contract is usually legally binding, but it largely depends on whether any form of original written record can be provided. These can include documents such as records of change and records of instructions. Hence why documents of correspondence between the two parties is so important for it can be quite a tedious process for those without the written records.

The ownership of the source code is another important aspect as Vendors may want to resell their product to similar companies in the industry, whilst Purchasers may want to retain it. This often creates disputes over the ownership of the source code. The answer can often be seen from the terms in the initial contract, however, should it not provide a clear ownership of the source code, litigation may follow.

Whether you are a software developer, or a Purchaser of software, it is of the utmost importance that clear and precise terms be written concerning things such as termination rights, time delays, protection of buyers etc. A good contract will perhaps provide a limit on the amount of variations on a contract, whether it is limited by hours, or the number of times it can change. It can also encompass change to additional quotation and cost. A detailed contract can often help mitigate and limit future disputes.

Brief Case #2

Information Age / Private Information / Agreement for Service / Data Privacy Ordinance / Data Policy / HK Stock Exchange

Case Scenario:

In the current decade of the Information Age, data can transverse freely from one to another at the push of a button. Private information is all around the internet on mass media websites. Our Client, a mobile app developer, contacted us to review their data policy between them and their clients (agreement for service). Especially concerning the storage and usage of data in regards to the Data Privacy Ordinance.

Case Advice:

In the previous year (2013), the Data Privacy Ordinance was amended and strengthened the protection of individuals from corporate abuse of private information. It also established a strict policy for the gathered data of clients in regards to their; storage, usage and restrictions.

With the current easy access of information, mobile app popularity largely depends on its data policy and how well it protects their private information. A poorly drafted policy, could lead to consumer concerns on their private data being mistreated and thus put consumers off from the product. These areas are essential for the success of the product and developers should review prudently.

Should the mobile app become successful, and the developers wish to go public with the product, the HK Stock Exchange has a strict policy against those whose Data Policy are lax in their way of handling both storage and usage. Without a clear guideline and policy with clients, the draft prospectus for going public may very well be rejected.

A clear and concise drafted contract can sometimes mitigate disputes and ensure success in regards to data handling and future commercial growth..

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