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The Validity of User License

The Validity of User License

The Validity of User License

In the case of Step-saver data systems vs. Wyse Technology, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Limited Use License Agreement on the box tops was not legally binding, thereby issuing a judgment in favor of Step-Saver Systems, who were the software buyers from The Software Link Incorporation (TSL) (Mozingo, 2019). On the other hand, in the case of Mortenson Company vs. Timberline Software, the court ruled that the claims by the buyer were not warranted, thereby making the license agreement on packaging legally binding as part of the contract (Alwash et al., 2017). This difference in the two rulings can be attributed to several issues.

Firstly, in the first case, the buyer never consented to the terms of the modifying agreements on the box-top license. In fact, there was testimonial evidence from the company president’s christening objection to the terms on the box top license as an adjustment to the initial contract. In the second case, the purchase was necessitated by plans to upgrade an older version of the software also acquired from the seller. This provided grounds to conclude that the buyer understood the terms of the Limited Use License Agreement as they had made several software license agreements with the seller before.

Secondly, in the first case, the buyer was not the end consumer of the product, implying that the box-top license agreement could not apply to the company. However, in the second case, the buyer installed the software on their computers, suggesting that they were the final users; therefore, the license terms were completely applicable to the company.

Lastly, in the first case, the seller was willing to continue the contract even after the buyer expressed a desire to sell copies of the software, thus violating one term in the license agreement and prohibiting transfer by the buyer, thereby refuting the applicability of other terms. In the second case, the seller abided by the conspicuous terms, thereby making them procedurally applicable. Conclusively, in the first case, the defendant, TSL, was found liable, while in the second case, the liability rested on the complainant, Mortenson Company.


Alwash, A., Love, P. E., & Olatunji, O. (2017). Impact and remedy of legal uncertainties in building information modeling. Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction9(3), 04517005.

Mozingo, T. (2019). Revisiting the Enforceability of Online Contracts: The Need for Unambiguous Assent to Inconspicuous Terms. Seattle UL Rev.43, 1065.


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Software License

Explain why the courts reached different conclusions about the validity of software licenses in Step-Saver Data Systems v. Wyse Technology and The Software Link and Mortenson v. Timberline Software.

The Validity of User License

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