Software law

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Software law: AI, algorithms, APIs, RPA, smart contracts and over deployment

Just as we’ve all got used to thinking of software law as settled, along come a range of new techniques that challenge and stretch established notions.

New legal questions about the extent of intellectual property protection, the development of tort law, regulation and contracting approaches, structures and practices are emerging with:

  • the machine learning, perception and control of AI (artificial intelligence)
  • ever more sophisticated algorithms
  • APIs (application programming interfaces) as the glue that sticks the digital world together
  • RPA (robotic process automation) and
  • smart contracts and the blockchain.

Issues around software over deployment – where the provider says the customer is using software beyond what is permitted – are on the rise. Software providers need an effective mechanism to trust and verify customers’ contractual compliance. Customers need to ensure their use cases match the licence scope. Licence permissioning is an area where contract is king and clarity at a premium.

We have been at the leading edge of software law for many years and have a deep and broad understanding of the emerging contractual, IP and regulatory issues and the technical, legal and business contexts in which they arise.