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Startup Law A to Z: Customer Contracts – TechCrunch

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Your startup needs customers to survive. If and when you make sales or generate installs, you are wading into the fast moving stream of commerce and exposing yourself to risk. Well-drafted customer contracts limit your liability and create legally enforceable rights to get paid for your work. In fact, contracts are actually dispute prevention mechanisms, forcing parties on either side to clearly define what is supposed to happen in advance, aligning expectations and increasing the likelihood that all goes according to plan.

So developing a working understanding of contracts generally, a deep understanding of your core customer contracts specifically, and hiring a competent lawyer to draft key contracts from the beginning, together represent an investment that will pay dividends over the life of your startup.

This article, the third in Extra Crunch’s exclusive “Startup Law A to Z” series, follows previous articles on intellectual property (IP) and corporate matters. If you are tuning in now, this series is designed to provide founders enough information to intelligently analyze business circumstances vis-à-vis certain common legal issues startups face. These articles are detailed and admittedly lengthy, but the concepts discussed are critical for founders to understand deeply.

If after reading this or other articles in the “Startup Law A to Z” series, you identify legal risks facing your startup, then other Extra Crunch resources can help. For example, the Verified Experts of Extra Crunch include detailed profiles of “Verified Expert Lawyers” – some of the most experienced and skilled startup lawyers in practice today. You can and should use these resources to identify attorneys focused on serving companies at your stage with experience in the particular matters at hand and simply reach out for further guidance.

The Customer Contracts checklist:

Contract Law Generally

  • Contract Formation
  • Term and Termination
  • Breach and Remedies

Terms of Use vs. End User License Agreements

  • Distinctions and Key Provisions
  • Enforceability through Click-Wrap Agreements
  • Notice of Amendments and Revisions

Privacy Policies

  • State, Federal, International Laws:
    • CCPA
    • CalOPPA
    • Required under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 22575(a)
    • FTC (COPPA, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)
    • GDPR
  • Disclosure and Enforceability

NDAs

  • Mutual vs. One-Way
  • Definition of Confidential Information
  • Residual Clauses
  • Non-Solicit and Non-Competes

Master Services Agreements and Service Level Agreements

  • Y-Combinator “Sales Agreement” / MSA Template
  • Deal Terms, Legal Terms, Boilerplate Terms
  • Legal Terms Explained:
    • Warranty and Disclaimer
    • Indemnity (and Insurance)
    • Limitation of Liability

Contract law generally

What is a contract? Any law student preparing for the bar exam will tell you, in monotone: “a contract is a promise or set of promises, for breach of which the law provides a remedy, or the performance of which the law recognizes as a duty.”

Simple enough, but which law? For contracts, it is primarily the “common law” which governs contracts, that is, law derived from judicial decisions and not government-enacted statutes (historical background courtesy of UC Berkeley). That said, contracts for the sale of “goods” are governed by specifically promulgated rules set forth in the Uniform Commercial Code (or “UCC”). And yes, in certain circumstances, courts have found that software may be considered “goods” for this purpose, see On Contracts.

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Here’s Why You Need To Stop Using Internet Explorer Immediately

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Why should you change web browsers now that Internet Explorer is at its final end? It all comes down to security. Internet Explorer is about to become inarguably insecure software, with a security level that grows ever weaker from this point forward.

Web browsers are regularly updated with new security measures and fixes to potential exploits that could allow an outside party to do all sorts of unpleasant things to your system. Stealing personal information, acquiring credit card or bank account numbers, learning passwords to one or more of your various online services, that kind of thing. Keeping your browser up-to-date reduces the risk of being compromised, and can often remove weaknesses you may not have even known were there.

By continuing to use a web browser after support has been halted, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to attacks from cagey web links, spam emails, and so on. With no more updates on the horizon, any exploits found from here on out will never be patched up — and you probably won’t even be made aware of them since nobody is maintaining the software anymore. The longer you wait to switch to a new browser, the greater the risk.

Dropped web browser support also means non-security updates are also off the table. No more new features, no eventual improvements to clunky design, and perhaps most importantly: no compatibility updates. At some point, certain basic features just won’t work with an outdated browser anymore. Like it or not, Internet Explorer’s time is up — for real, this time.

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Sony LinkBuds S Promise ANC And All-Day Comfort

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Even though Sony suggests LinkBuds S are the smallest in-ear wireless headphones, they have still managed to cram in reasonably sized 5mm drivers. For comparison, this is only slightly smaller than the 6mm drivers used on the WF-1000XM4.

The product also gets Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 — the same chip we saw on the recently launched Sony WH-1000XM5. This chip claims to improve the overall sound quality of the product by reducing distortion and improving noise cancelation. Sony LinkBuds S earbuds also support “High-Resolution Audio Wireless” with LDAC as well as an autoplay feature that activates the moment users place the buds in their ears.

Sony’s latest earbuds claim a battery life of up to six hours, with the supplied charging case further enhancing the playback time to 14 hours. When completely discharged, the LinkBuds S can be charged for five minutes to get an additional 60 minutes of playback time.

Another interesting feature on the LinkBuds S is support for the Niantic AR game “Ingress.” Sony says LinkBuds S earbuds use sensor and spatial sound technology to combine a great visual and sonic experience. It’s also suggested by Niantic that further integration with their Lightship platform should allow expanded functionality with LinkBuds earbuds soon.

Sony’s LinkBuds S earbuds go on sale starting May 20, 2022, and come in two color options, White and Black, with a suggested retail price of 199.99. They will be available via Sony.com, Amazon, and other authorized dealers. A third color option called “Ecru” is also set to be available as an exclusive release from Best Buy.

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Acer’s 2022 Laptop Lineup Is Packed With Chromebooks And Convertibles

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The next Acer product up for discussion is the Acer Chromebook Tab 510, which — as evident from the name — is a tablet-sized device that also doubles up as a Chromebook thanks to its convertible form factor. This machine features a 10.1-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Apart from featuring an 8MP camera for occasional photos, the Acer Chromebook Tab 510 also boasts of a 5MP selfie camera, which could mostly be used for video calls. 

Speaking of video calls, that brings us to the connectivity aspects of the Tab 510. There is a 4G LTE variant of the Tab 510 that is enabled by the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 Compute Platform. The Tab also claims 11 hours of battery life from a single charge. Like the Acer Spin 714, this smaller machine also meets MIL-STD 810H standards. This rating is made possible by an impact-resistant chassis, shock-absorbing corner bumpers, and a reinforced design. 

The company claims the Acer Chromebook Tab 510 can survive drops from as high as 48 inches. Another feature borrowed from the Spin 714 is the Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass on the surface of the touchscreen. The Tab 510 also supports a dockable stylus along with a Keyboard Folio case, both of which are optional accessories. The product is expected to go on sale starting in July 2022 with an expected starting price of $399.99

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