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Contract Commandments for Design Professionals

The Ten Commandments of Design Professionals’ Contracts (Vol,2) by Matthew C. Ryan. Navigators provided this great article in their March 2019 issue of BluePrint for Design Professionals. First off, “Don’t Make It Personal:  If you’ve created a business entity under which you practice your profession, you’ve taken an important first step to shield your personal/family assets and interests against claims that might arise out of your design work. Lawyers who file lawsuits against design professionals will frequently name one or more individual designers as defendants, in addition the entity named in the contract. A measure of protection against this can be found in a contract clause noting that the sole recourse arising from any professional services will lie only against the entity, and not against any individual.”

Second commandment  “Keep Your IP from Becoming OPP  Design professionals sometimes overlook contractual provisions that surrender one’s ownership of the design for a project. These situations tend to materialize more often in public-sector projects, but plenty of private entities will seek to secure this benefit for themselves—often with an eye toward making a project “unique” by limiting the reuse of any distinctive design elements. Situations in which you give away your intellectual property should be rare indeed, and there should be important offsets against the sacrifice you’re being asked to make. The benefit you receive ought to be dramatic—perhaps a monumental and career-defining project, a higher fee, or some other boon. You may also be able to negotiate the retention of an unlimited license to reuse elements of the overall design while promising not to create a replica in the future. Remember: giving away ownership of your design without retaining any rights of your own means you could be sued for the later reuse of your own work product.”

Do we have your attention,  now go to Navigators Architects & Engineers website for the other 8 commandments.