Any business which operates a mobile application (an “App”) must have an End-User License Agreement (“EULA”) to govern its relationship with the App’s end-users. EULAs can establish ownership rights, limit liability, stipulate payment terms and address a host of potential issues to the App operator’s benefit.
Are Apple’s and Google’s Default EULAs Enough?
When App operators publish their App through Apple’s App Store without their own EULA, then Apple’s default App Store terms and conditions apply. They offer many protections such as limiting liability, disclaiming warranties and protecting your rights to your App, but will never address your specific requirements. Similarly, publishing through Google’s Android market only offers basic ownership and warranty disclaimer protections through the Android Market Terms of Service without any limitations of lability or indemnification provisions. In other words, you rely on Apple’s or Google’s default agreements at your peril.
The EULA is likely the only agreement between the App operator and its end-users. Accordingly, it is imperative that the EULA address the legal issues, potential disputes and other possibilities that can arise with the end-users. All EULAs should address at least the following issues:
- a description of the App’s functions and underlying products/services/offerings;
- payment terms including cancellation policies;
- ownership terms over the App’s technology, intellectual property, underlying content/offerings, as well as the license or permissions granted to the end-user;
- usage restrictions associated with the App, including end-user conduct;
- disclaimers, depending on the nature of the App and its offerings; and
Tailoring your EULA
The specific terms contained in an EULA will vary depending on its functions/offerings and the underlying relationship between the App operator and its end-users. It is highly recommended that you retain qualified legal counsel to ensure your EULA is tailored to your offerings and provides adequate levels of protection by anticipating the unique and common potential issues with your App.