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UK: Agent for supply of downloaded software not protected by UK Regulations.

The English Court of Appeal has decided in Computer Associates v The Software Incubator that an agent who represents a principal supplying software by electronic download only is not a commercial agent within the meaning of the UK regulations implementing the European directive on commercial agents.

Edward MILLER - 19.11.18
Country expert - IDARB Arbitrator

The UK regulations apply only to agents for the sale of goods.  Although the Court of Appeal was not persuaded (in line with previous case law - see https://www.idiproject.com/news/uk-choice-texan-courts-may-not-oust-uk-jurisdiction-uk-agency-regulations-can-apply-sale - that a licence could not constitute a sale, the Court of Appeal did hold that software supplied electronically and not on any tangible medium could not constitute goods under the UK regulations.  
 
The agent was therefore not entitled to a compensation payment on termination of the agency which the lower court had assessed at £475,000.

 

TEXT OF THE JUDGEMENT

 

Edward Miller, IDI agency & distribution country expert for UK

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