By Jeremy Holt; Jeremy Newton; Sarah Ellacott; Andrew Katz; Jean Morgan; All authors
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Extra resources for A Manager's Guide to IT Law
Systems Procurement Contracts THE NEED FOR A FORMAL SYSTEM SPECIFICATION The legal implications of not developing a proper specification are illustrated by the case of Micron Computer Systems Ltd v. Wang (UK) Ltd. One of Micron’s complaints against its supplier was that the Wang system did not provide ‘transaction logging’. The judge observed that ‘the acknowledged absence of a transaction logging facility is not in reality a fault in the system which was sold. Micron can only complain about its absence if Micron can establish a contractual term … to the effect that the system included such a facility.
It will, in most cases, cover updates to the software (but not necessarily new versions of the software). The client may want to categorize different kinds of problems into those that could be critical for its business and those that are no more than an irritation and could be dealt with next time a new version of the software comes out. The supplier’s response time will be different depending on the severity of the problem. The supplier will not normally commit to a fix within a particular period – only that they will start to fix it within a particular time.
BEWARE THE STANDARD CONTRACT The dangers of agreeing unquestioningly to the standard supply terms (or for that matter, to a client’s standard terms of procurement) are illustrated by the case of Mackenzie Patten v. British Olivetti. A law firm bought an Olivetti computer system to run their accounts. They discussed their needs with the salesperson and signed up to Olivetti’s standard terms. These dealt only with the system’s technical performance: they did not address certain other important issues that had been discussed between the parties.
A Manager's Guide to IT Law by Jeremy Holt; Jeremy Newton; Sarah Ellacott; Andrew Katz; Jean Morgan; All authors