AE Blog - Design Professionals Contract Clauses
In spite of whether the client claims ownership of the drawings, the initial task for the design professional is to request permission from the client to contact and discuss the design with the prior design professional. In addition to this request, the contract with the client should address this matter clearly.
The contract should include clauses that:
- describe how the drawings were obtained and given to the design professional;
- provide a warranty from the client asserting that the drawings are indeed owned by the client, not subject to any copyright, or have been made available with a license from the copyright holder to use the drawings; and
- contain a clause where the client agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the design professional from any claims arising out of copyright infringement.
If the client declines either permission to contact the original design professional or agreement to the contract clauses, the design professional needs to candidly consider whether or not it is in his best interest to continue working with this client. Otherwise, considering that copyright ownership lasts at a minimum for a person’s lifetime plus an additional 70 years, the design professional could very well find himself defending a
copyright infringement lawsuit sometime in the future.
For more resource information on Professional Liability Insurance, please refer to Hall & Company’s Risk Management Library.