Legal Question in Intellectual Property in California

While reviewing the TERMS OF SERVICE of a web service (WEB-SERVICE) I was thinking of using, I saw a section on Intellectual property that I am concerned about. The WEB-SERVICE allows you to host contact forms for your visitors to use on your website, without exposing your e-mail address to spammers. When users fill out a form on your website and submit it, the content is received by WEB-SERVICE and it then emails the information to your email address. This is all done without the user knowing your email address. That's the service provided.

From the TOS in an Article labeled "Intellectual Property":

"We (or our licensor or suppliers) are the exclusive owners of all existing and future intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks, design rights, patents, source codes and know-how, which rest on our Service or are the fruits of the use of our Service.

As a user, you only gain the right to use our Service. You cannot claim any of the in subsection 1 mentioned intellectual property. This is not an exclusive right, which means that we can grant others similar rights of use. Furthermore, it is expressly forbidden to transfer or license this right to any third party."

That appears to state that if a visitor to our website were to send us a suggestion using WEB-SERVICE, and that suggestion would involve us developing a commercial software application, and we were to develop said application, WEB-SERVICE would have ownership of the application and/or copyrights, trademarks, patents, and source code that results from the initial suggestion conveyed using that service?

If not, how else should "are the fruits of the use of our Service" be interpreted?


Asked on 9/05/22, 6:58 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

This seems awkward and over-broad. Without proper context it is hard to offer any insights on it. If you have concerns, have a lawyer properly prepare your terms.

If you need clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

Kind regards,



[email protected]

DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

Read more
Answered on 9/06/22, 9:16 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Intellectual Property questions and answers in California