Intellectual rights protection services

The whole concept of ‘escrow’ is common in the USA across a range of day-to-day activities. Elsewhere many people will only be familiar with it from using online auction sites. So what is software escrow?


Software escrow


The basic idea is that an independent third party acts between two other parties based on a defined set of criteria. When certain conditions are met the third party releases what it holds to one or both of the other parties in the agreement.


When it comes to software escrow services this approach can be used to assure the long-term availability of source code, data and other materials that a supplier might be unwilling to share under normal operating conditions. However, a critical software application could suffer if the creator was no longer in a position to offer the code for a reinstall.


In the case of a catastrophic crash or failure that occurs when the original supplier is no longer in business, the use of an escrow agreement means that the purchaser would be protected and in a position to access everything they needed in order to get the system back up and running.




In this way and in many others, the escrow process can protect the intellectual property rights of both suppliers and creators, whilst also making sure that unforeseen circumstances do not put purchasers and end users at any disadvantage.


Essentially it provides an all round guarantee to all parties, ensuring that best practice is used but also mitigating against any future problems.


Therefore an escrow solution is a simple and effective arrangement that can mean intellectual property issues have less impact on commercial transactions without lessening their importance.


The verification processes involved are robust and ensure that the original agreements are adhered to. Major escrow agents deal with many of the world’s leading companies to ensure the safety of their digital systems and data. In essence, any organisation that develops, supplies or uses software applications and technology could benefit from an escrow process.


Even though modern software is designed to minimise crashes and failures and often has fail-safes in place to recover data effectively, anything from a major power grid outage through to hardware device failures can cause unforeseen and inescapable problems.


Use of RAID systems, regular backups and other safe practice procedures can limit the damage caused by software problems, but there is nothing more secure than having an escrow agreement in place should the very worst happen.

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