Mobile App Operators Need Binding Agreements with End-Users

It is essential that every business or individual that operates a mobile application (or “mobile app”) ensure that there is a binding contract in place with those end-users that access and use the app. These contracts are often referred to as “Terms and Conditions,” “Terms of Use” or, more common in the mobile app industry, “End-User License Agreements” (or “EULAs”).

Well-written, legally binding mobile app terms and conditions provide a means for mobile app operators to establish the rules that apply to each end-user’s use of the applicable mobile app. These rules should include a clear delineation of the ownership rights of the mobile app operator with respect to the mobile app and its associated features. In addition, such agreements can be used to effectively shield the mobile app operator from certain kinds of liability, establish clear payment terms (if any) and set forth terms for dispute resolution that are advantageous to the mobile app operator.

How Important Are Mobile App Terms and Conditions? 

The Legal Protection that You and Your Mobile App Should Have

The Terms/EULA that you utilize in connection with your mobile app, together with a Privacy Policy (which is also an essential legal document for any mobile app operator), are likely the only agreements that will be entered into between you, as the mobile app operator, and the applicable mobile app’s end-users. Therefore, it is imperative that the mobile app terms and conditions address many of the legal issues and other contingencies that can arise in connection with the underlying commercial relationship.

Ideally, the Terms/EULA would address some or all of following topics from an, admittedly, partial list: (1) a description of the mobile app’s functionality and underlying products and/or service offerings; (2) clear instructions for uninstalling the mobile app; (3) payment terms and, relatedly, methods for canceling a paying account; (4) clear terms regarding ownership of the mobile app, associated technology and intellectual property; and (5) restrictions on end-user content, communications and conduct.

Tailor Your Agreements to the Specifics of Your Mobile App

The specific terms contained in each mobile app agreement should vary depending on the functionality and features of each mobile app, the type of content/offerings featured by and through each mobile app and the underlying commercial relationship between the end-users and the applicable mobile app operators. Given the importance of mobile app terms and conditions, and the amount of customization required, it is highly recommended that you retain qualified legal counsel to ensure that any agreement that you use in connection with your mobile app is narrowly tailored to your offerings, provides adequate levels of protection for your specific business activities and anticipates all applicable contingencies.