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Are you an app developer in New Zealand? If so, then you might want to think about how you are going to market your app. Importantly, you want to legally bind your customers to terms and conditions when using your app. This ensures that people are using your app for the right purpose and there is a process in place in case of a dispute. This article will explain what you should include in your app’s terms and conditions and why you should include them. 

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions are a contractual agreement between two parties. All users must agree to the terms and conditions before using the service. The agreement is binding as long as it meets all the requirements of a binding contract. Any breach of the terms and conditions could result in you being banned from using the service. 

Additionally, the terms and conditions should also stipulate what the app developer can do with any data that you provide. Importantly, you want your terms and conditions to be foolproof and contain all the relevant clauses. 

Apple v Android

Both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store have certain requirements when it comes to terms and conditions. You must follow these, otherwise, you risk the removal of your app from the respective store.

Apple App Store

Apple has a default terms and conditions agreement that the user must accept before they can download your app. Many app developers may choose to rely on these terms and conditions. However, it is recommended that you have your own or edit the default agreement to better reflect your app or business. This is because a one size fits all approach may not protect your business to the fullest extent.

Google Play Store

The Google Play Store has more control over your app. This is because the store requires that you agree to Google having certain rights over your app. These rights include Google having the ability to use its own brand features when distributing or selling your app to users on the Google Play Store. 

At face value, this may not look like an issue to app developers. However, it means that your app may be marketed in a way that may not be best for your app. However, generally, Google will act in the best interest of your app. 

Key Elements for Your Terms and Conditions

Prohibited and Permitted Rights

Importantly, you should ensure that your terms and conditions include details on what people can use your application for. This should be clear and specific so that your app cannot be used for malicious conduct such as spamming. You should also make sure to prohibit the collection of data from the app.

Termination

Another important clause to include in your app’s terms and conditions is one relating to termination. Termination means to cancel the contract. A user will be able to delete the app at any time which cancels the agreement. However, you should still detail the termination process in your agreement.  

The termination clause can also determine when you can terminate your customer’s account if they breach any of the clauses in the terms and conditions. 

Intellectual Property

Additionally, you should include a clause that protects your intellectual property in your terms and conditions. This clause can explain how your app’s intellectual property can be used and the owner of the intellectual property. Indeed, this means that you can hold your customers liable if they misuse your intellectual property.

Disclaimer

Further, your terms and conditions can also include a disclaimer for your business. A disclaimer is a statement that limits the liability of a given business or entity when a customer uses their service. Likewise, businesses require customers to read the disclaimer so that they understand that they cannot bring legal action against the business if there is an issue. Importantly, your disclaimer should specifically state how limited your liability is and in what situations the disclaimer covers.

Key Takeaways

It is vital that you use legally binding contracts when you are in business. One such contract is a terms and conditions document. App developers must ensure to provide terms and conditions to protect you from liability and outline processes for issues like termination. Both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store have default agreements but it is important to edit this to better reflect the nature of your app. 

For legal assistance with your app’s terms and conditions or other contracts, contact LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I legally required to provide terms and conditions?

The law does not legally require to provide terms and conditions. App stores also do not require you to have them. However, it is best practice to have this document and ensure you tailor it to best protect your app and business.

Do my customers have to agree to my terms and conditions to use my app?

Yes, the relevant apps store will require them to agree before they can use your app.

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