• A is hired by B to perform a task - Project X. They agree and sign contract which details payment terms, ownership, project scope, dispute resolution, etc. All goes well. Project is completed and payment made.

  • Three months later B returns and asks A for a separate project - Project Y. Both agree on pricing via email but no contract is signed. Project is completed, payment is made.

  • Six months later B returns to A for yet a different project - Project Z. Both agree on pricing via email but no contract is actually signed.

A dispute arises over ownership of Project Z.

Are the (more general) terms on the original contract still assumed to be accurate for this third project?

In other words, are there cases where a previously singed contract would be seen as an agreement for future collaborations?

I understand (perhaps incorrectly) that by default, leases tend to have the terms seen as extended if no new lease is signed but occupancy continues, but does this apply to other contracts?


Contract terms can be implied by past dealing between parties. In the event of a dispute about the third contract a court would need to determine from the evidence if, at the time the third contract was formed, the parties intended to be bound by the terms of the first.

Sometimes they agree that they did or didn't. Usually, however, including the terms is more beneficial to one party than the other so they argue their different points of view and the court makes a decision.

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