As in any other business, conflicts and disputes can arise in the field of IT. Of course, cases are different and it is necessary to take into account the details of each case, but based on the existing practice, disputes related to IT can be conditionally divided into several groups:
1. Disputes related to non-fulfillment or improper fulfillment of license agreements and contracts for the development/supply of software (the software was developed not properly, does not correspond to the terms of reference, was transferred late, not in full, etc.). In such cases, technical expertise or the involvement of IT specialists may be required. Moreover, for the correct preparation of documents, lawyers need to sufficiently understand the specifics of the subject of the dispute.
2. Disputes related to the protection of intellectual property rights. This category of disputes includes claims for infringement of software copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc. This also includes the fight against piracy.
3. Disputes related to the disclosure of commercial information (NDA violations), violation of agreements of “non-competition” (NCA) and “non- solicitation ” (NSA). This category of cases is not typical for Ukraine, although the first court decisions in this area are already appearing, at the same time in the courts of common law countries, such disputes have become common practice.
4. Disputes related to the protection of personal data on the Internet. The legislation of the EU and other developed countries is becoming more and more stringent and even world-famous IT companies have come under sanctions for violating users’ rights to protection of personal information.
5. Disputes related to the representation of the interests of IT specialists (labor disputes, or disputes arising from civil law relations).
But, in addition to the specified specific categories of cases, IT companies, any pother entities, face corporate, tax, and economic disputes in court, although, considering the transnationality and cross-border nature of IT business, such disputes very often go beyond one state and require knowledge not only the relevant branch of law but also private international law and process.
Therefore, the features of IT disputes are of:
1. “Technical” nature, which requires the involvement of IT specialists for the correct paperwork;
2. International nature – not always, but in most cases, disputes are resolved out of Ukraine, but by a court of another state or by international arbitration under foreign law. In such case, it is nessesary to keep in mind that, in due to legislation of many countries, only licensed local barristers have the right to represent interests in courts, therefore Ukrainian companies need to have reliable partners-barristers in different countries.
3. Specific legal relations of the parties to the dispute. Considering the transnational nature of IT projects, very often the counterparties have never met or exchanged a full package of duly executed documents, therefore, the formation of an evidence base for a court is always of extra difficulty.
VigoLex team understands the complexity of representing the interests of IT companies in courts but is ready for any challenge. Furthermore, over many years of practice in this area, VigoLex Company has gained not only unique experience in this area but also a network of partners in different countries that can technically and legally help the client to protect himself and renew violated rights in the relevant jurisdiction.
Mediation is also one of the directions of VigoLex Company.
Mediation is an alternative way of resolving disputes, which helps the parties to find a mutually beneficial solution to a conflict situation, speed up and reduce the cost of the reconciliation process
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Moreover, VigoLex Team is familiar with the features of online dispute resolution (ODR, “online arbitration”). ODR is an increasingly popular online dispute resolution tool worldwide.
As a rule, an appeal to online arbitration is carried out in cases when the amount of the claim is so small that it makes no sense to go to court or arbitration, but at the same time, it is wasteful to refuse to protect your interests (for example, when there are many similar homogeneous disputes on a small amount). As a rule, this is associated with online trade, when, for one reason or another, the parties make claims to each other for the supply of goods, that’s why the main users of the ODR are representatives of e-commerce. These days, such giants as eBay, AliExpress, Amazon, Cutchfield, Buy.com, Vanns, Abt, and others are actively using this method of dispute resolution.