Legal Issues

Project Information

Project: PROJECT-NAME
Internal Release Number: X.Y.Z
Release Audience:
General availability release
Customer-specific release: CUSTOMER(S)
Developer release (Internal usage only)
Early access release (Controlled external access only)
Related Documents:
Process impact: This document outlines legal issues that may affect this release. Failure to carefully consider these issues may create a risk of legal action or limit future negotiations or legal defenses.
TODO: Use this worksheet to help identify legal issues. Fill in the information above and below. Add or remove rows as needed. Seek professional counsel for review as needed.

Ownership of Intellectual Property

Component Owner License Status Comments
Product name Us Trademark Registration pending We must use "(TM)", not "(R)"
Database VENDOR Commercial license In compliance, paid normal fee Limits us to 2 CPUs/server
Encryption library VENDOR Commercial license In compliance, signed partnership agreement
Clip-art graphics None Public Domain In compliance
Sound driver library Open source BSD In compliance
Search engine indexer Open source GPL In compliance Indexer runs in separate process, so it does not force our code to use GPL
Other library Open source BSD In compliance
Other data Us Copyrighted In compliance
Special algorithm patent Us Patent pending In compliance Patent search done, patent application submitted

Regulatory and Policy Compliance

Type Regulation Status Comments
Taxes Our e-commerce engine must help our customers determine sales taxes Pending We still need to put the details in the SRS
Export Strong encryption exports must be declared In compliance We will not distribute out of our country
Privacy Industry organization seal of approval In compliance On-line consumers have control over how their personal information is used
Privacy HIPAA privacy In compliance
Security HIPAA security Violated We need to comply with this by next year
Accessibility Section 508 In compliance Needed for government sales
Interoperability Corporate policy on compatibility with LEGACY SYSTEM Waived We have permission to break compatibility
Possible Status Values
  • Pending: we still need to work on this legal issue.
  • In compliance: we are OK to go ahead with this release.
  • Waived: we decided not to consider this legal issue for this release.
  • Violated: we are not conforming. Use comment column to describe impact.

Product Licensing

How will this product be licensed to customers?
Floating user licenses.
Named user licenses.
Node-locked server licenses, priced per CPU.
Site license.
ASP monthly service.
What contractual commitments will we make to customers?
None. This software is provided "AS IS" without any warranty. Customers indemnify us against any claims of harm caused by using the product.
We commit to a certain SLA (service level agreement) for our ASP hosting service.
We commit to develop certain additional features over a specific time-line:
  • YYYY/MM/DD: CUSTOMER-SPECIFIC-FEATURE
  • YYYY/MM/DD: CUSTOMER-SPECIFIC-FEATURE
We commit to certain precisely specified functional and non-functional requirements:
  • CONTRACTUAL-REQUIREMENT
  • CONTRACTUAL-REQUIREMENT

Legal Issues Checklist

The goal of this checklist is to help expose legal issues that might otherwise be missed. It does not help with the actual management of legal issues.

TODO: Answer the questions below. Consider how each sample answer might apply to your project. Select the best match, edit it, and delete the others.
Does the development organization hold trademarks on the product name and any other names used in marketing the product?
Yes. Make sure to defend your ownership.
No. Make sure not to impinge on the trademarks of others.
Does the development organization hold or license patents on intellectual property that is used in the product?
Yes. Make sure to defend your ownership.
No. Make sure not to impinge on the patents of others.
Does the development organization hold or license copyrights on source code that is used in the product?
Yes. Make sure to defend your ownership.
No. Make sure not to impinge on the patents of others.
For each component in the product, is that component being used in a way that complies with its license?
See details in table above.
For each piece of copyrighted data in the product, is that data being used in a way that complies with its license?
See details in table above.
Was any component or data produced by another organization under contract?
Yes. Review the contract details for ownership and licensing.
No. No action required.
Does the product use technologies that are under export control?
Yes. But, we have no plans to export.
Yes. Take steps to obtain needed export permissions.
No. No action required.
Does the product need to meet industry-specific regulations or certifications?
Yes. Take steps to meet them. Specifically, ...
No. No action needed.
Does the product satisfy corporate policies (e.g., on privacy and security)?
Yes. Describe how each policy is satisfied:...
No. Describe the steps needed to bring the product into compliance.
No. No policies apply.
TODO: Check for words of wisdom for additional advice on this template.
Company Proprietary
Copyright © 2003-2004 Method Labs. All rights reserved. License terms. Retain this copyright statement whenever this file is used as a template.