Hi, We are a US company that license software. A chinese company is interested in licensing our sofware and they are going to build an iphone and android application to put in the market world-wide. My questions are: 1) Do I have any limitations for export control? 2) Which are the countries that the commerce control list does not allow to do business with? 3) How do I protect myself legally if this company does business with contries that are not allowed (e.g., Iran)? thanks
I have been developing software for over 20 years (large scale enterprise security software) -- there is absolutely no way I would ever license software to a Chinese based company -- EVER. The Chinese government does not enforce US based copyright or intellectual property laws. I have seen time and time again companies take deals like what is above and then get royally screwed out of royalties and revenues. Once they build the app -- they own the app -- especially if they are publishing it. Additionally -- there are several US based corporations and the federal government that will no longer utilize software or applications that have been developed or published from certain countries because of security issues -- the Ukraine, China and African nations are among them. These are some things you need to keep in mind when looking at the licensing model. You would be better off finding a US based company interested in the same opportunity that you can have a partnership alliance with and retain your rights and revenue share.
I recommend talking with an attorney on this. This not an easy question to answer without asking a whole host of other questions.
One thing you can look at is the terms of service for iphone and android- they have terms that help speak to this issue.