Practice Areas

Computer, Science and Technology Law

The attorneys of James, McElroy & Diehl are particularly focused on transactions involving hardware and software, and internet-related transactions.

Our active computer software oriented practice has expanded into internet/web agreements, technology related licensing, web intellectual property protection, and anti-piracy protection. Our attorneys have taught university courses on these subjects, authored articles, prosecuted and defended criminal cases involving computer data theft and unauthorized access to computer systems, and handled numerous matters involving design, defects, copying, use, or misuse of software and web-based systems. Attorneys in the firm also advise clients on protection of systems and data, addressing the practical, as well as contractual and legal steps that should be taken in particular situations.

We have also negotiated and drafted contracts for custom software applications, and helped clients navigate the complex practical issues of such situation, including intellectual property ownership, source code access, obsolescence and updates, warranties, etc. The purchase of software, particularly custom programs, entails pitfalls that many businesses discover after they have spent large sums only to learn that they have not obtained ownership of the software, perpetual use rights or functionality that they had assumed would be part of the package. We are experienced at helping a business navigate through the information technology contract minefields.

Specific engagements involving technology law have included:

  • Licensing of computer software
  • Preparing and reviewing contracts for custom applications or systems
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts for programming services
  • Contracts for design of Internet websites
  • Agreements for banners, sponsorship, links, etc.
  • Issues related to computer system security
  • Reviewing interactive websites for privacy law compliance
  • Matters relating to logic bombs and viruses
  • Litigation of software piracy, copyright infringement and trade secret violations relating to custom software applications
  • Representation of criminal defendants charged with hacking (unauthorized access), data theft, and website vandalism
  • Representation of businesses victimized by unauthorized access, data theft, decompiling and reverse-engineering, and destruction of applications and data
  • Representation of parties to litigation in which the functionality of internal software modules and the interactivity with real-time processes are at issue
  • Representing parties in disputes as to discovery and ownership of intellectual property