Key issues in software support and maintenance agreements
Key issues in software support and maintenance agreements

The following TMT practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Key issues in software support and maintenance agreements
  • Considerations for maintenance and support contracts
  • Excluded services
  • Termination of maintenance
  • Perpetual licences and termination of maintenance
  • Maintenance fees
  • Independent maintenance providers

Key issues in software support and maintenance agreements

This Practice Note sets out the need for, and issues to consider in relation to, contracts for the support and maintenance of software.

Considerations for maintenance and support contracts

It is generally accepted that software will not always be, or remain, error free, hence the need for maintenance. The agreement should clearly set out:

  1. what is included within the services being offered

  2. for what period

  3. during which hours

  4. at what price

Key issues to consider are:

  1. services: It is sometimes appropriate to distinguish between, and to charge separately for:

    1. maintenance services to fix bugs and errors in the software

    2. support services to provided technical assistance in using the software and training

    Often the two are combined. Whichever approach is adopted, the agreement should detail the scope of the services to be provided

  1. updates and upgrades: Updates, upgrades, enhanced versions or new releases of the software may be made available as part of the provision of maintenance and support services. These terms should be clearly defined if they are to form part of the services provided under the agreement. An additional charge may be made for these services. Suppliers may refuse to support older versions of the software as it will be more costly for them to support an older version or different versions of the software

  2. availability of services: The times

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