Revoking an “Implied” Software License

A license can be granted without any written agreement. It happens more often than you might think. For example, a license by verbal agreement and a “course of conduct” was granted by one party in the case of  Planification-Organisation-Publications Systèmes (POPS) Ltée and Elizabeth Posada v. 9054-8181 Québec Inc., 2013 FC 427. In that case, the lack of a written agreement was irrelevant. The court found that there was an “implied” license. The next question was whether that license could be revoked or terminated? The software owner asserted it was entitled to revoke the licence that it had previously granted, because that licence had been granted for no consideration (or “à titre gracieux” - sounds better in French).

The court disagreed. It’s true that a license granted for no value or no consideration can be revoked unilaterally. The B.C. Court of Appeal came to this conclusion in Katz (c.o.b. Michael Katz Associates) v. Cytrynbaum, [1983] B.C.J. No. 2421 (C.A.), where an architect revoked consent to the transfer of copyright where it was given without any consideration. However, in the Planification decision, the court found significant value had been transferred over many years by the licensee, though it was never documented in writing as “consideration” for the grant of a license.  This came in the form of “conceptual contributions” to the software, software testing, compensation for developers, contributions of macros and other inputs for the software.

The lessons for business?

  • Be aware that a software license can be granted verbally or through a course of dealing between the licensor and licensee. This results in an “implied” software license.
  • Terminating or revoking such a license may be possible if the grant is gratuitous and there is a complete absence of any value flowing back to the licensor. However, consideration can also be implied. In this case, it was pieced together from various sources to make up valid consideration for the grant of the license.
  • Any “free” licenses - including licenses between joint-venture partners, or licenses for beta or pre-release versions of software - should be handled carefully to avoid these pitfalls.

Calgary -07:00 MDT

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

i want to buy prednisone without a perscription order prednisone free next day airprednisone on line Buy accutane with visa where can i purchase synthroid 200 mcg mastercard without a prescription where can i purchase zithromax online purchase Buspar no visa online without prescription buy Atarax amex purchase cheap Atarax online buying Cytotec online lisinopril lisinopril buy lisinopril lisinopril buy Lisinopril cheap uk buy Lisinopril buy Lisinopril legally Metformin uk Metformin from india cheapest place to buy Metformin buy Metformin free consultation order generic Metformin Metformin drug buy Metformin pay cod Metformin no prescription where to buy finpecia buy prednisone spain buy prednisone in the us purchase Buspar without prescription to ship overnight where to buy Amitriptyline without a prescription Premarin mexico valtrex generic pharmacy iframe Buy Valtrex from usa without a perscription purchase Maxalt without buy Metformin without a credit card buy Metformin no rx finpecia online pharmacy buy cheap valtrex without prescription free fedex delivery Valacyclovir Amitriptyline from india Premarin drug order cheap overnight Premarin online Maxalt purchase buy cheap generic prednisone online canada pharmacy no prescription buy prednisone oral Metformin online purchase buy Metformin doctor prescription Finpecia generic online online|Finpecia 1 mg order online|Finpecia generic vs propecia|Finpecia cost australia|buy generic Finpecia uk|purchase Finpecia uk|buy Finpecia online prescription|buy generic Finpecia 1mg|buy Finpecia|Finpecia online australia|buy Finpecia no prescription uk|order Finpecia 1mg|buy Finpecia cheap|Finpecia generic 1mg|Finpecia online prescription|Finpecia 1mg generic canada|Finpecia costco pharmacy|Finpecia 1mg india|Finpecia generic walmart|buy Finpecia no prescription forum|buy Finpecia online australia|Finpecia online uk) buy Metformin in united states online Metformin sale purchase Orlistat visa buy finpecia over counter cheap purchase Orlistat order no online rx Orlistat purchase Orlistat no visa without prescription buy on line Orlistat generic Orlistat prices online prescription Orlistat online prescription Orlistat medikament Orlistat buy Finpecia online|buy cheap Finpecia online|order Finpecia|Finpecia generic walmart|Finpecia online prescription|buy Finpecia 1mg online|Finpecia generic online|Finpecia costco price|order Finpecia online|buy Finpecia 1mg malaysia|purchase Finpecia uk|topical Finpecia buy|Finpecia 1 mg order online|Finpecia generic|buy Finpecia online canada|Finpecia 1 mg order online|Finpecia online india|Finpecia generic 1 mg|order Finpecia uk|Finpecia depression women|buy cheap Finpecia 1mg|Finpecia generic names|legal buy Finpecia online|Finpecia depression women|buy Finpecia 1mg india|Finpecia generic walmart|buy Finpecia 1mg online|Finpecia online india|buy Finpecia 1mg online|Finpecia 1mg tablets|Finpecia costco price|order Finpecia canada|buy Finpecia online australia|Finpecia dose hair|buy Finpecia online paypal|Finpecia 1mg|Finpecia 1mg for sale|Finpecia online uk|buy Finpecia uk|Finpecia 1mg vs 1mg|Finpecia generic walmart|Finpecia costco pharmacy|buy Finpecia online paypal|F finpecia online no rx finpecia with fedex buy finpecia next day delivery purchase Premarin without prescription to ship overnight where buy Premarin