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Archive for May, 2016

FTC Announces Approval of Final Order in Deceptive App Case Against Vulcan

Written by on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission has today announced the approval of its final order resolving its complaint against the San Francisco-based software company Vulcan on deceptive and misleading conduct allegations that Vulcan had purchased a browser extension game and replaced it with a program that caused the automatic installation of applications on the game users’ mobile devices without their permission.  According to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), Vulcan’s unfair and deceptive acts and practices in replacing a legitimate game with the new program severely disrupted the ability of the 200,000 users of the game to subsequently use their mobile devices and put their sensitive information stored on the device at risk. The FTC’s complaint also contained a false claims allegation over the inaccurate promotional and advertising claims made by the replacement program.   The original FTC complaint filed against Vulcan can be viewed here.

In its Order, the FTC prohibits Vulcan from offering “a product or service or materially change a Covered Product or Service” unless the company has  disclosed “clearly and conspicuously” in advance of any downloading or installation the types of information the product or service will access and how the information will be used to perform related services, and the nature of any material change to a covered product or service.  Also, the FTC expressly prohibits Vulcan from making a number of specific deceptive advertising claims. The FTC Order has been made available for viewing here.

The Vulcan enforcement action by the FTC makes a clear statement to software companies that the government is monitoring the nature of the software being distributed to consumers as well as the advertising claims made in connection with such software for any conduct that may rise to the level of an unfair and deceptive trade practice.  Any software company contemplating the replacement of an app previously installed by users with their permission with another an unauthorized app are on notice that the FTC does not approve of the practice and will exercise its enforcement authority against you once your conduct is brought to its attention.

 


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Silicon Valley Software Blog Author Kristie Prinz to Speak on Best Practices for Negotiating and Drafting Effective SaaS Customer Agreements

Written by on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Are  your SaaS customers really signing an agreement that is effective for your business?  How do you even know if your SaaS company is working with a customer agreement that is sufficiently protecting your business?

The Silicon Valley Software Law Blog’s author Kristie Prinz is presenting a webinar on June 13, 2016 at 10 a.m. PDT on “Best Practices for Negotiating and Drafting Effective SaaS Customer Agreements” which will explore these topics of concern for SaaS companies.  At this webinar, you will learn the following:

  • What makes an effective SaaS customer contract?
  • What terms should you include in your SaaS customer contract to protect your business?
  • Common drafting problems in SaaS customer contracts
  • What drafting problems frequently result in customer disputes?
  • How can these drafting problems be avoided?
JEL28958-Prinz, Kristie P2
Ms. Prinz’s practice focuses on advising early stage and small to mid-sized businesses on the negotiation and drafting of complex commercial transactions in the software, hardware, Internet, health technology fields of practice, as well as other related high tech and life sciences fields.  Ms. Prinz is a regular speaker, media contributor, and author on technology law, intellectual property and entrepreneurship issues.  Ms. Prinz has developed particular expertise in advising SaaS companies in negotiating and drafting their customer agreements.  Ms. Prinz is a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and is licensed to practice in the states of California and Georgia. To register to attend this webinar, please sign up here: link.

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