Shumaker helps a wide range of clients make sense of the business, technical, and legal concerns related to creating, licensing and financing evolving technology. For-profit companies and nonprofit organizations alike rely on us to facilitate the preparation of software development and licensing agreements, equipment leasing and purchase agreements, and internet service provider and hosting agreements.
Software developers and web designers similarly ask us to represent their interests in structuring these agreements, and our experience on both sides of the table means we can anticipate problems and create an agreement that satisfies the needs of all parties. In our areas of geographic focus, we work with venture investors to identify and invest in emerging technology companies.
Shumaker lawyers bridge the gap between always changing business demands and technology capabilities – from the most technical clients who routinely purchase and manage technology for their organizations to those who lack considerable experience with technology but want to fund and invest in the growth of technology companies.
- Companies of many sizes and in various business sectors seek our advice to structure software development or purchase agreements, and to handle the legal aspects of enterprise-wide information technology systems.
- We assist software developers, digital agencies, website designers and media promoters with protecting their new technologies, ideas, and inventions through aggressive licensing provisions in all of their agreements.
- We regularly work with venture investors and investment funds to help structure financing and investment agreements focused on startup technology companies.
What Makes Us Different
When it comes to effectively structuring the business side of new technology investments, we believe that understanding the clients' “need” for new technology is far more important than the size or location of the business. Our clients are often relieved to find that Shumaker lawyers understand how technology works and can incorporate that understanding in new technology purchase agreements, without needing to wade through complex engineering or electronic terminology. We understand new technologies, as well as software and website deliverables, but we speak business.
At the start of structuring a technology purchase contract, we will sit down with the technology experts from both the developer and the purchasing company, and make certain that all the objectives of both sides are clearly documented. We customize our software agreements to the specific assignment. We have found that explicitly describing the work required, the deliverables expected and the warranty/support provided is the best way to avoid problems down the road – this is the same process followed for technology purchases for our law firm. We don’t drag the process out – agreements that we structure are typically completed in a matter of days, not weeks or months.
Why You Benefit
Because we understand clients’ business goals and the technologies they are considering, clients don’t hesitate to call us and ask, for example, if we can quickly review an agreement before a board meeting. In addition to our quick response, we strive to ensure that the contracts and agreements we structure are the foundation of a working relationship without surprises or problems. We focus on positive, efficient and practical documentation that outlines accountability, not vague promises of performance – this is at the heart of the technology agreements we create.
- Creating technology development agreements that protect the parties’ goals and clearly articulate the critical deliverables, testing, deployment, acceptance and support phases of the project.
- Ensuring that all software and technology services are properly licensed.
- Developing Internet/technology use policies for enterprise-wide systems.
- Identifying sources of venture capital financing for technology companies, and structuring investment arrangements that work for both sides.
- Advising on legal, practical, and security issues arising from cloud computing services.
- Working with developers of renewable energy technology, including ethanol and solar power.
What you can expect from Shumaker
No matter what side of the technology equation you are on, you will find that we speak your language and know how to advance your goals and address your concerns. If you are a purchaser of software, hardware or digital/web design, we help define what deliverables are critical to the success of the project and make certain that such needs are properly documented in the development agreement. This kind of detailed process helps developers as well, so that all sides agree upon the deliverables expected. Our lawyers move easily between engineering and business perspectives, so that there are no misunderstandings about what each is to accomplish.
On the financing side, we also understand how our private equity and venture capital clients think and operate, and work with them as business partners in making successful technology investments. We have a feel for the deal and the people involved, and are comfortable with their entrepreneurial viewpoints, making sure any investment arrangement is right for both sides. It’s a practical, business-focused approach that epitomizes all of our technology counsel – making sure the legal details are covered so that the technology development and deployment is seamless and effective, and business goals are met.