Is contract valid without signed agreements? And product ownership?


I agreed to build a software for a company. We decided to do a JV where the company would pay me a monthly salary and % of profits after the product is sold. I started working on it before the agreements were signed (on good faith that the agreement documents will be signed soon). At one point, I asked the company for a 20GB computer. The company sent me a 8gb computer. I informed that I can't use it but it stayed with me. Now, it's been an year and this is the situation - 1. I've built the product (but there are no buyers yet so its not sold yet) 2. The agreements have still not been signed. 3. The company has not paid me any money whatsoever (I've been working on good faith, they had excuses that payroll was not setup) 4. Now when I'm asking to sign the agreements, the company is trying to change the terms. For example, the company is trying to claim that the product is owned by them and trying to lower my % etc). Is the product owned by me or company? What are my rights?

Answers (2)


331 votes

It depends on the documents, emails, communication and other material you have with you. You have the rights to retain the software you have made or you can ask them to pay you for your services. It is best if you discuss the details of your matter and get a legal notice sent. In case they refuse to pay you or settle your claims, you can file a recovery suit against them.


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343 votes

First thing first, you should stick to the original terms of the contract and shall inform them that any deviation from the original will be contested before the court.
If there is no contract in between you and the other party stating that your build product belong to them or you have build that product for them on a certain sum of money then that product belongs to you and not them.
So while you made a mistake by not signing the contract before the assignment begun simultaneously you can use that non signing part in your favour as well.

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