Contract of Agreement to meet fees and exclusivity/ownership of intellectual property.

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Contract of Agreement to meet fees and exclusivity/ownership of intellectual property.

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    Les Ballard

    I am not asking for a freebie, honest, though the pseuds amongst us may like to compare wordings, but there are so many laws in the galaxy and a gentleman’s handshake, of whatever complexity, rarely contains sufficient clauses to avoid trouble.

    When wearing a different and more fun hat, I like to make the law, jurisdiction and currency of claims, in forms that may be taken as applying contractual terms if only for an old dear’s coach trip, those of the island state of Yap where their money, rocks brought from another island, have often been in the family for generations. Also, the claimant has to pay airfreight on the delivery of the “money”. (Only if the complete denial of any liability is no good, obviously.)

    An agreement to meet fees should be a simple thing for a garden designer (though I am not aware of any legal tests) but, even allowing for Court’s disdain of bigwigs where there is unequal bargaining power, I am in England and the law is different in Scotland, never mind the USA, South Africa or Malaysia, where I have tried to help people in the past. There is no International Convention to guide us, only the common sense of making applicable law, etc. your home Court. So, caring for contractors and protecting themselves, what do big LA firms and companies do?

    A Contractor wants to be paid as agreed, in return for which the Principal wants a design, etc. However, they may want exclusive use of ideas for say a year, while the Contractor wants to re-use ideas for other clients. The Principal may want to cut corners, whereas the other may want to recommend a perfect example of the idea for others to see, or just feel slighted when the item turns out half the size in cheaply mixed concrete. The whole situation may require good faith but we are an ever more secular society. Can a professional body perhaps buy and allow free use of a wording that is shorter than the New Testament but goes beyond what is currently available and is safe for all?

    Luv n Lite,

    Les Ballard

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