Yesterday there was an e-mail from the AI XPRIZE team reminding of Early Bird Registration deadline and offering to ask in case of questions: "If you have any questions, please send them to email@example.com".
Unfortunately, I got stuck in the process of my registration at the step of signing the Competitor Agreement due to some essentials questions I already sent to firstname.lastname@example.org eleven days before but did not receive any answer yet. So, maybe this channel could work.
My e-mail sent eleven days ago was as following:
Dear sir or madam,
Dear XPRIZE Foundation,
Regarding the competitor agreement (as made available two weeks ago at http://adultliteracy.xprize.org/sites/default/files/ibm_watson_ai_xprize_competitor_agreement.pdf), I have following questions and comments:
(1) There seems to be a contradiction between the general legal provisions in 16.1 and in 16.10.
16.1 states: "Parties cannot bind one another by contract."
16.10 states: "This Agreement ... will constitute a complete, binding contract."
Besides of the contradiction, there is no meaning in signing an agreement if the agreement shall not bind any party.
(2) Pursuent to 6.1 the sponsor's right pursuent to 9.3 will never activate due to the following construct of the agreement:
The section 6.1 defines that the agreement/contract "will end upon the conclusion of the final Competition Awards Ceremony".
On the other hand, the sections 9.3 states about the sponsor's right "that such a right shall not activate until conclusion of the Competition" while the section 16.11 does NOT include 9.3 to "survive the expiration or termination of this Agreement".
Thus, the sponsor's right pursuent to 9.3 will terminate before it can activate.
Supposed this construct would be changed in a way that 9.3 would survive the conclusion of the competition, some fundamental issues regarding the goal of the competition (as defined in 14.4) arise as described below.
(3) The agreement provides the team an option to withdraw from the competition (pursuent to 3.7) but a withdrawal does not imply a termination of the agreement, and the agreement DOES NOT provide the team an option to terminate the agreement on its own.
Thus, EACH team that have signed the agreement - independently of continuing the participation and independently of ever receiving an award - would be bound to the provisions of 9.3 and therefore is obligated to "promptly disclose to Title Sponsor any and all Team Technology" (latest in 2020). Thus, the only fact of signing the agreement would obligate EACH team to disclose any and all team technology to title sponsor which - even "under a confidentiality agreement signed with Titel Sponsor" - is a very stark obligation without any reasonable compensation. This obligation discourages the team to sign the agreement and therefore foils the goal of the competiton as defined in 14.4: "to inspire and educate individuals, attracting new enthusiasm, new investments, and new ideas to the field".
(4) The constraints set to a team by signing the agreement are even more restrictive since 9.3 defines that the disclosure of the team technology to title sponsor has to happen "prior to entering into any agreement granting a third party any rights in any Team Technology" which implies that a team would not have an option to involve other parties into development or marketing of its technology during the term of the term of the agreement and prior to the disclosure to title sponsor, and hence prior to the conclusion of the competition (in 2020).
Furthermore, this construct seems to waive the applicability of the Exhibit F as any third-party investment agreement into the team technology may be rejected by XPRIZE because (pursuent to Exhibit F, section II) it "(i) would cause Team to breach any term of the Agreement" (namely, 9.3) and it "(iii) conflicts with the exclusivity of ... any sponsorship associated with the Competition".
In turn, this construct foils the paramount goal of the competition as defined in 14.4, especially the goal of "attracting new investments".
Thanks in advance for your clarifications on these topics.