There are multiple organizations that offer Intellectual Property Escrow Services
How can you make sense of it all?
Key features worth noting when selecting a Software Escrow Provider include:
1. Experience & Longevity
How long has the Software Escrow Provider been protecting intellectual property? Although price is an important consideration, an equally important one involves the number of years that the Escrow Provider has been protecting intellectual property, as well as the number of customers that have placed their trust with the Escrow Provider. Longevity is synonymous with “experience”. . . . and experience counts when selecting your Provider.
2. Immediate, Professional Attention
There is nothing more irritating than being interested in a Service and waiting for the Software Escrow Provider to get around to providing it to you. Organizations that offer intellectual property Escrow Services are in the “Service Industry”. Selecting a Provider that offers immediate, professional attention to your needs (including replying promptly to information requests) is invaluable.
3. Can the Provider Support Special Needs?
An Software Escrow Provider that can address your needs (regardless of how simple or complex) is important. Multiple storage options may be required. Customers may require semi-annual reports for auditing purposes. Software Escrow Providers who have been in the marketplace for years have ‘experienced it all’ and should be able to address your needs.
4. Can the Provider offer multiple types of Escrow Arrangements?
Whether your Escrow needs are simplistic in nature (1 Technology Vendor /1 Licensee) or complex (1 Technology Vendor / Multiple Licensees), a key feature involves whether your Software Escrow Provider can accommodate your needs and can produce Escrow Agreements that satisfy your requirements. Escrow Agreements should be able to be reviewed free-of-charge, as well as tailored to meet your needs.
5. Can the Provider adapt to another’s Escrow Agreement?
Most Software Escrow Provider will offer their Escrow Agreements for your use and review. However, there may be times when either the Technology Vendor or Licensee has an Escrow Agreement already in place that they would like to use. A worthwhile feature when looking for an Intellectual Property Escrow Provider involves whether the Provider is likely to accept and abide by the terms of an Escrow Agreement that is not their own.
6. Prompt Notification to the Parties?
Once a deposit has been submitted into escrow, it is imperative that the Software Escrow Provider notify the parties that the materials are in its possession. Prompt notifications sent by the Escrow Provider to the Technology Vendor and Licensee are important in an effort to avoid confusion. Don’t hesitate to ask a potential Escrow Provider for references so that you may address the Provider’s notification process.
7. The support of both Physical & Electronic Storage
A Software Escrow Provider’s ability to support both Physical & Electronic deposits is of key importance. Some of your customers may require redundant physical storage of materials, as well as redundant electronic storage.
8. Fee Structure
Let’s face it. . . price matters! Selecting a Software Escrow Provider that maintains a simple, no-nonsense fee schedule simplifies the entire process. One should never pay a ‘Set Up Fee’ (fee to establish the Agreement, modify the terms and conditions, etc.). An Escrow Providers’ fee structure should be similar to that of ‘Term Life’ Insurance. Comprehending the Provider’s fee structure should be easy to understand without surprises.
9. Insurance Coverage
An Software Escrow Provider that maintains complete insurance coverage is of primary importance. Coverage including:
- Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)
- General Business Liability
- Fire Legal Liability
- Valuable Papers & Records
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