Yip, Tse & Tang | Escrow Agent appointment starting from HK$20,000

Bad_software_2 Yip Tse & Tang has the experience in handling the needs as an source code agent. We may serve you whether you are: software developer or software end-customer.

For software applications with multiple customers as end-users, a set-up fee of HK$20,000 to HK$40,000 is required for making any source code deposit arrangement. The fee rates depend on: complexity, time pressure to the set-up and time spent to finalise the escrow arrangement. End-customers are charged annually for HK$5,000 or a sum to be agreed, depending on a number of factors. You are free to terminate the service any time you want. That means, "no custody, no fee". (Photo: Thomas Tse, Senior Partner, Yip, Tse & Tang)

For customised software applications or applications having a few end-users (or even one end-user), a set-up fee of HK$20,000 to HK$50,000 has to be paid. The fee rates also depend on the same set of factors in the multiple users situation. The annual charge will usually between HK$5,000 and HK$10,000.

Currently, we are in custody as source code agent for a leading international bank and prominent software house. You do not have to question our experience. We know what source code escrow is all about.

Visit our FAQ on Source Code Escrow to learn more about the service.


Call us at  62488888
Mr. Raymond Tang

 "No commitment, no fee" FREE preliminary consultation

Legal Practice of Yip, Tse & Tang

Yip Tse & Tang Solicitors 葉謝鄧律師行  is a Hong Kong law firm. It now has 30 lawyers. Insolvency, personal injury, computer laws, commercial contracts, family matters and matrimonial proceedings are the main areas of practice. The firm was chosen by the Information Technology Services Department, HKSAR Government, as one of the e-commerce Reference Cases in 2000.

The firm was established in 1994 and founded InternetSolicitor.com in 1999, seeking to provide legal services on the Internet. The firm's partners take part actively in seminar speeches, including CPD courses accredited by the Hong Kong Law Society.

Legal services on or relating to:-

  • E-Commerce, domain name disputes, data privacy, computer crimes, copyright and licensing, intellectual property rights.
  • Insolvency: Voluntary arrangements (IVA) and bankruptcy.
  • Personal injuries: traffic accidents, workplace injuries and medical negligence.
  • Matrimonial proceedings: divorce, maintenance, property adjustment and children custody.
  • Criminal Practice: computer crimes and Internet crimes.
  • Family matters: marriages, probate, wills, deed poll and conveyancing
  • Computer source code escrow agent.

Tel: 39689399

Fax: 28666000
Email: ytt@ytt.com.hk

We have 14 offices in Hong Kong:

Mongkok, Cheung Sha Wan Plaza, Kwun Tong, Yaumatei

Hong Kong:
Central, Wanchai, North Point

Yuen Long, Sheung Shui, Tai Po, Shatin, Tsuen Wan 

Thomas Tse 謝連忠: Senior Partner

BSocSc, LLB, Notary Public, Civil Celebrant

Mr. Thomas Tse is a Notary Public, Civil Celebrant of Marriages and a Solicitor.

He obtained his first degree on Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong in 1985. He obtained his law degree at the London University in 1988 and Post-graduate Certificate in Laws in 1989.

He has been in active practice as a solicitor in Hong Kong since 1991. He is a partner of Yip, Tse & Tang, Solicitors, founded in 1994. Mr. Thomas Tse is the Head of the Technology and Communications Practice Group of the firm. The firm now has 18 solicitors. He dedicates most of his time on practising laws relating to E-commerce and Technology. Mr. Tse is the author of Electronic Laws in Hong Kong (www.hkelaw.com)


Since 1999, he has been actively making presentations on these areas of topics on various occasions.

Graduated from the University of Hong Kong with Bachelor of Social Sciences degree.

1988 Obtained Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of London

1989 Obtained Postgraduate Certificate in Laws at the University of Hong Kong.

1991 Admitted as Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Hong Kong

1992 Admitted as Solicitor of the Supreme Court in England and Wales

1994 Founded and has been a partner of Yip, Tse & Tang, solicitors (now having over 10 solicitors, 3 trainee solicitors. Total force of the firm is almost 40).

1997 Launch of legal information portal site of www.solicitor.com.hk (award winner of eAward 2000 'Innovation and Design' organised by Hong Kong Productivity Council).

1999 Offering speeches in seminars and conferences on e-commerce and Internet laws to e-commerce and information technology managers. Columnist of DIGIHALL on e-commerce legal issues, a bimonthly e-commerce magazine published by Hong Kong Productivity Council. Articles (over 3000 words each) includes Domain Name Dispute, Computer and Internet Crimes, Online Libel, Jurisdiction Issues in Cyberspace, E-Commerce Legal Framework, Electronic Transaction and Banking Services, Online Copyright, Online Libel, Jurisdictional Issues, Data Privacy.

2000-now Current legal practice: e-commerce and information technology. Clients: Internet enterprises, software producer, ISP, telecommunications service providers and ASP, GEM listed companies included.

Conferences and Seminars

Nov 1999 to April 2000*

Twice organised: each over 12 hours of lectures to IT Managers on Internet and E-Commerce legal topics organised by Hong Kong Productivity Council and sponsored by Software Industry Information Center (over 150 participants in total).

Mar 2000*

Over 9 hours of lectures to IT Managers on E-Commerce Course Series : Professional Course of IT Legal Knowledge organised by Hong Kong Economic Times and co-organised by Hong Kong Computer Society, Hong Kong Small and Medium Size Enterprises Association. Hong Kong Small and Medium Business Association and SME Centre (51 participants)

7 May 2000

Speaker on E-Commerce Shopping for iSmart at Comp Expo 2000 (70 participants).

23 May 2000, 2 June 2000

Conference organised by Cable & Wireless HKT and Hong Kong Economic Times held at Convention Centre: Excellent Management on E-Shop (over 400 persons attended on each occasion).

31 May 2000

E-Commerce seminars organised by ITAccountants Association (ITAccountants.com ) for Certified Public Accountants.

27 July 2000

ICe Internet Commerce Expo Hong Kong 2000 Conference organised by IDG World Expo (Asia) Ltd : Legal Challenges and Risks in eBusiness

September 2000*

1 hour lecture on E-Commerce Legal Issues organised by Trade Development Council for SMEs in Hong Kong. 40 participants.

October and November 2000*

E-Commerce Course for Professionals organised by Open University of Hong Kong (LiPACE). Over 8 hours of presentation on E-Commerce Laws and Regulations, Telecommunications Laws and Privacy Legal Issues. 40 participants, most were legal practitioners.

2 December 2000

E-Commerce Legal Issues for bank managers organised by Open University of Hong Kong (LiPACE) for Hang Seng Bank. More than 3 hours of presentation.

Nov 2000 to January 2001*

Professional Certificate on E-Commerce organised by Open University of Hong Kong (LiPACE). Over 11 hours of presentation each. Total number of participants were about 80.

May 2001*

Professional Certificate on E-Commerce organised by Open University of Hong Kong (LiPACE). Over 11 hours of presentation each. Total number of participants were about 30.

June 2001*

Over 18 hours of lecture organised by Hong Kong Productivity Council. Topic: Laws and Regulations on Electronic Banking and E-Commerce

June 2001*

E-Commerce Course for Professionals (with CPD points accredited by the Law Society) organised by Open University of Hong Kong (LiPACE). Over 8 hours of presentation on E-Commerce Laws and Regulations, Telecommunications Laws and Privacy Legal Issues. 10 participants, most were legal practitioners.

Functions with * require payment of fees

Topics Covered in Seminars or Conference

E-Commerce Laws and Regulations
Computer and Internet Crimes
Computer and Internet Contracts
E-Commerce and Banking
Telecommunications Laws and Regulations
Encryption and Transaction Security
Software Liability and Legal Process
Online Privacy and Data Protection
Online Libel or Defamation
Domain Name Disputes and Resolutions
Internet Liabilities

FAQ on Source Code Escrow

What's the use of Source Code?

Source code is a necessary preliminary for the repair or modification of a program.’ All programmers will agree to that.

This is the simple reason for having the source code of a computer program. Source code is human-readable as they are written by programmers.


What are the legal aspects on end-customer's access to the Source Code?

The software industry players are 'selling' to their clients object code only, that is in machine-readable computer language.

End-customers’access and use of the source code can be carried out only if the object code is decompiled. Decompilation (or reverse engineering) is a highly technical exercise and costly. Besides, it is lawful only if it is for error-correction purpose by a lawful user. Any other purposes such as for upgrade or improvement will be categorised as acts of infringement and can be subject to civil sanction and in post 1st April 2001 situation, criminal sanction under the Copyright Ordinance.

There is no law legalising decompilation of the object code even if the software supplier is in breach of a licence agreement (except the complaint is related to software error) or it ceases to have any business.


How Source Code escrow protect end-user's investment?

To safeguard an end-customer's access to the source code and hence the on-going and continuous use of the computer program purchased the answer lies with the deposit of the source code with an escrow agent if an end-customer is minded to protect his investment. The escrow agent (being the custodian of the source code) will be responsible for the safe keeping of the source code and will release the source code to the end-customers if the conditions precedents in the source code deposit agreement arise.

If you have to invest huge amount of money on installing the computer program, you must consider using the source code deposit services if the software supplier has made available to you such service.


What are End-user's consideration when subscribing to Source Code deposit service?

1. Terms and conditions contained in the Source Code Deposit Agreement. The most significant portion is under what circumstances or events an end-customer would be entitled to have access and delivery of the source code. In most situations, it would include the most obvious instance of cessation or winding-up of the business of the software supplier.

2. The obligations and duties of the custodian. The custodian is the party holding the source code in escrow according to the Source Code Deposit Agreement. It is the party you would resort to when the software supplier is no longer interested in or incapable of responding to your needs. So check with the source code deposit agreement in order to find out what obligations and duties he owns to you as the end-customer.

3. Fee and charges. There are several possible charges. The following is the most obvious types:-
☆Set up fee
☆Annual fee
☆Additional deposits, replacement and withdrawal of source codes materials
☆Verification fee (optional)

4. You should note the amount of charges or fees payable to the software supplier and the custodian and charges on yourself if you have to engage expert for any of the exercises, for example a computer program expert if you want to engage him to verify the integrity of the source code.


What are the rights of end-customers on release of the Source Code?

To know the rights are very important.

The release of the Source Code to the end-customer on fulfillment of certain condition(s) does not mean that the end-customer can freely deal with the source code. His rights towards the source code will still be subject to the terms and conditions contained in the licence agreement and especially the provisions particularly applicable to the handling of the source code. Basically, the end-customer's right to the use of the Source Code is restricted to his personal use.

Therefore, it infringes the software supplier's copyright if the end-customer chooses to exploit the source code commercially by further licensing its use to third parties.


Will Yip, Tse & Tang be the Source Code deposit agent?

No. A company controlled and managed by us will act as the source code agent in the escrow agent agreement.

Yip, Tse & Tang Solicitors is set up in 1994 and is one of the leading firm to provide source code deposit service in Hong Kong. Since 1996, it has been handling arrangements on source code deposit for famous network ERP and ASP computer programmes. FlexAccount of Flexsystem Limited (GEM 8050) and OMS of Grandmass Technology Limited (GEM 8108) are two examples. End-customers can protect their investment and have peace of mind by paying an economical sum of subscription money for the service.


What are the charges of Yip, Tse & Tang?

The charges are reasonable.

Yip, Tse & Tang charge the owner with a set-up fee. There are also other fees such as the annual fee. If an end-customer has to verify the integrity of the source code, an administrative charge will be levied on the end-customer. Other fees in connection with the deposit, replacement and withdrawal of additional source code materials may also be levied on the software owner when applicable.


Can I see the form of an Source Code deposit agreement?

Yes. It can be provided to you forthwith on request.


Still got questions?

Call us at  64288888  (Mr. Raymond Tang) for a "No commitment, no fee" FREE preliminary consultation Now.

What is in a Source Code Deposit Agreement?

The Source Code Deposit Agreement is an agreement in respect of the keeping of the source code by the source code agent. It is made by two parties:

1. source code agent (as the custodian) and

2. software supplier (as the owner of the source code).

The Agreement governs the duties and obligations of the source code agent and the software supplier. The end-customer's rights will be subject to the terms of the Agreement.

The Agreement also sets out the charges and fees payable by the end-customer when subscribing to the service.

Sample of a Standard Escrow Deposit Agreement

The Standard form of agreement can be provided to you forthwith on request.

The form has been adopted by Yip, Tse & Tang in source code scheme of certain prominent software.

The terms can be modified by the software supplier and Yip, Tse & Tang is prepared to discuss and advise the software supplier on any modifications to the form.

Professional escrow service

We are solicitors experienced in providing source code deposit service. We can explain and familiarise you on the rights and obligations of a software developer and an end-customer.

If you are a software developer

You may engage us to be the escrow agent of your source code. We would not charge you for preparing the Source Code Deposit Agreement. Conferences would be arranged to advise you on your and our obligations and how the scheme is executed.

If you are an end-customer

You may engage us to advise you on licensing of the software program from the software supplier. We would advise you on the terms of the escrow service you would engage with your software supplier.

Please note that we would not advise you on any source code deposit scheme if we are the solicitors normally retained by the software supplier.

About Yip, Tse & Tang Solicitors & Notaries

Brief History

Yip, Tse & Tang was founded in April 1994. The firm now occupies over 20,000 sq. ft. in total. It has 14 offices located at different prime locations.

Technology and Communications Practice Group

Since 1996, Yip, Tse & Tang has been offering legal services to Internet or technology-oriented clients. It eventually developed the technology legal practice headed by Mr. Thomas Tse. Team members include solicitors highly literate in computer and Internet know-how and applications. The firm serves clients including those listed on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and multinational corporations.

Partners. lawyers and supporting staff

We now have 30 lawyers. The total staff force exceeds 100.