In this project, computer science and jurisprudence jointly develop a concept for the planning, design, and management of contracts between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) regarding the development of software. The idea is to turn an easily composed, yet efficient and machine-readable specification of the requirements of the software to be developed and the automatic verification of the requirements into a constituent part of the development contract. The design of this contract ensures legal relevance of the technical verification results.
For many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the development of highly innovative software is an integral part of their competitiveness. In order to generate the optimum success of one’s own products, recognized experts are required to develop the software for the respective product domain. Many of these services can only be performed by independent software companies.
Software development by means of recognized, external experts can only be successful if the underlying development and project contracts fully meet the technical and legal standards. That includes the declaration of all necessary features and functions of the software to be developed (so-called specification) as well as its embedding into legally effectual and coordinated development contracts. Without a precise specification and its assured review, software development contracts are accompanied by severe legal uncertainties with respect to the form of contract and with regard to the processing of the order.
Until today these problems are the main reasons for the failure or the defects of software development projects. Within the framework of the joint research effort "Unternehmenssoftware" funded by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, the chair of software engineering at the university of Freiburg i.Br. (Prof. Dr. Andreas Podelski) and the chair of intellectual property at the University of Mannheim (Prof. Dr. Louis Pahlow) cooperate since 2009 to achieve an interdisciplinary solution to the present problems.
Computer science and jurisprudence jointly develop a concept for the planning, design, and management of contracts. The idea is to turn an easily composed, yet efficient and machine-readable specification of the requirements of the software to be developed and the automatic verification of the requirements into a constituent part of the development contract. The design of this contract ensures legal relevance of the technical verification results.
Thereby, acceptance of the developed product is partly automated, in this respect objectified, and less time-consuming. In addition, a significant part of software contracts becomes independent from the legal system and thus allows for easier international cooperation.
A set of pre-formulated model contracts ensures that software development orders become conductible even for small IT-companies without extensive and costly legal advice.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Podelski
Lehrstuhl für Softwaretechnik
Institut für Informatik
Georges-Köhler-Allee 52, Gebäude | Raum 052-00-017
79110 Freiburg i.Br.
+49 761 203 8241 (phone)
+49 761 203 8242 (fax)
Prof. Dr. Louis Pahlow
Lehrstuhl für Bürgerliches Recht, Recht des Geistigen Eigentums und Wettbewerbsrecht
+49 621 181 1373 oder -1374 (phone)
+49 621 181 3507 (fax)