Information Technology Law is a transactional-based practice that addresses the issues that arise when companies develop, license, acquire, or sell information technology and computer-related products and services. Specifically, lawyers in this field typically advise clients regarding intellectual property, licensing, software, hardware, technology transfer, outsourcing, e-commerce, procurement, consulting services, Internet, telecommunications, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, in each case across a broad spectrum of industries and technologies. Information Technology lawyers also counsel clients on regulatory issues involving information technology, such as export compliance, data security, and domestic and international privacy regulations, directives, and standards.
Clients typically are users and providers of information technology, ranging from start-up enterprises to large multinational corporations. The lawyers work with in-house counsel and business units to structure, draft, and negotiate agreements to meet the client’s needs and appropriately address commercial risk. The agreements involve the development, commercialization, and exploitation of IT-based assets and services and are typically between users and providers of IT products and services.
For example, lawyers in the Information Technology field help structure and negotiate license or purchase agreements for information technology or e-commerce resources a company needs to operate its business, both online and offline. These types of agreements can be software license agreements, software development agreements, software as a service (“Saas”) and cloud computing agreements, computer equipment purchase agreements, OEM agreements, and data and content acquisition licenses.
Information Technology lawyers also help structure and negotiate third-party services agreements needed to run a company’s IT infrastructure and operations. Examples of these types of agreements are hosting agreements, hardware and software support and maintenance agreements, systems integration agreements, consulting services agreements, and outsourcing agreements for a number of internal IT functions, including data center management, applications development and maintenance, desktop and device support, server management, and telecommunications.
Finally, Information Technology lawyers often structure and negotiate transactions that involve the commercialization and exploitation of intellectual property. This can occur through joint ventures, strategic alliances, or the license or sale of intellectual property.