If you own a business in а digital service field, you are most likely aware of the importance of a stringent set of Terms and Conditions. If you are not, or you are just starting your path in the field of mobile apps, then this article is exactly for you. Below you will learn the importance of having proper T&Cs
Terms and Conditions, also known as Terms of Service, T&Cs, etc. is a legal document which governs the relationship between businesses and mobile apps users. The T&Cs are the most important legal guardian for you, as a business owner, against your users.
We shall note that having a Terms and Conditions documents on your mobile app is not generally required by law in most countries. However, the lack of a comprehensive legal framework creates uncertainty between the business and its users, leads to disputes and ultimately – to loss of customers and revenue.
Further, app stores such as the Play Store or the App Store require in most cases that you have implemented such document on your mobile app before listing it on their platforms. If giants like Google and Apple understand the importance of mobile app Terms and Conditions, so should you!
In that sense, a comprehensive set of Terms of Service has multiple benefits for owners of mobile apps. Let’s have a look at some of the most obvious advantages:
- Protect your Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property is often the biggest asset of a digital company, or a mobile app. In that sense, you definitely want to protect your IP assets against infringements, such as copyright and trademark violations. Your T&Cs are the protection you need against such violations, as such a document will clearly establish what you own as intellectual property and how it can be used.
- T&Cs set the rules for using your mobile app
You would like to implement certain rules for the use of your mobile app. This way you will be protected against abusive users. Moreover, if you allow user-generated content, you should outline clear policies regarding the permitted behaviours and content submissions on your mobile app.
- Limitation of Liability
One of the main advantages of having T&Cs on your website is that you can limit your liability towards your users. Of course, there are regulatory restrictions to such limitations, however a limitation-of-liability clause can be of utmost importance. For example, if your mobile app offers fitness programs to its users, you certainly need to exclude any liability related to injuries caused by following your fitness plans. You will need to explain to your users that you simply recommend these programs and they do not constitute a professional or medical advice. The place to do this is your mobile app’s Terms and Conditions.
- Contract Termination
As previously mentioned, the T&Cs constitute the legal contract between your business and your users. Hence, you need to be able to terminate the access of users in certain situations. For example, if a user is violating your content guidelines, you need to be able to bar him from your mobile app. If a user is being abusive to others or to yourself, you would like to have the opportunity to discontinue his access to the app. However, all of this needs to be clearly established in advance, in order to be effective. Transparency will create certainty and trust in your mobile app in the long term.
- Dispute Resolution
In the unlikely event of a dispute between you, as a business, and a user of your mobile app, you would need to be able to enforce your rights against the opposing party. Hence, it is highly recommended that you have a dispute resolution clause in place in your Terms and Conditions, establishing how a dispute shall be handled and where. This way you have an insurance that an eventual dispute would be decided in your preferred jurisdiction and by your preferred method.
This article simply scratches the surface with respect to the usefulness and need for a comprehensive set of Terms and Conditions for each mobile app. If you are a mobile app developer or owner, you should seriously consider having such T&Cs.
We, at Lege Nova, are specialised in drafting such documents and would be more than happy to assist you. What is more, we offer a free 15 minutes consultation where we can discuss your legal needs.