In the case of a commissioned typeface, where I'm supplied the glyphs in the form of a PSD file, how would you determine and define what copyrights are mine and what are the clients?
I think, obviously, the glyphs are the clients. So are the outlines, I'd say, though, technically, I made the outlines from image files, plus I made a few minor adjustments to a small handful of glyphs and, I drew some alternates to preserve the hand made appearance. Still, I think that's the client's. Everything else that makes it a functioning font is mine.
I've spelled that division out in two clauses. One stating that I assert the my right to ownership of the intellectual property contained in the font, excluding the graphic content, I.e., the characters supplied by the client and another clause stating that the client owns the rights to graphic content.
Depending on your state (if US-based) and the nature of the compensation/work, this kind of stuff gets tricky. You can invalidate your entire agreement if one section is deemed void or unenforceable, and you haven't included a severability clause, for example.
If you'd like to DM your draft agreement w/this client, I can take a look, but IANAL. If it's important enough to have an agreement, it's important enough to have an attorney review. Look for a contracts attorney with experience in software. Lots of folks here suggest Frank Martinez, and he has a thorough understanding of IP as it relates to fonts, but since everyone uses him you might encounter a conflict. Also, unless you're made of money, you're going to want an agreement with governing law that's favorable to you (and your location). If you don't already know of an attorney who fits the bill, contact your state's bar association and ask for patent & trademark referrals.
@Jess McCarty's suggestion surprises me. In my experience lawyers who specialize in patents and trademarks aren't very qualified to write a EULA. What I always tell people is to look for an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law and has experience with software licensing.
I do, however, question your basic assumption that the most important criteria for choosing an attorney is that they be near you. We're in NY, and our primary attorney is also, but I almost never meet with her in person. I have hired secondary attorneys for various tasks and almost none of them have been in New York. Our trademarks guy is in California. I have never once thought that the distance effected their ability to serve our needs.
Especially when you add the fact that writing a EULA for a font is an extremely difficult high level skill I think that limiting your search to people near you is dangerous. The most important qualities are knowledge of IP law and mental agility (because fonts are weird). These qualities are rare in the species and not significantly more common in attorneys. Lots of attorneys are very rules bound and limited in their thinking - if you try to get someone like that to work on a font EULA you are likely to have a mess.
Obviously there are factors to consider other than location, but in my opinion, most solo designers and small foundries just aren't willing to search for or hire multiple attorneys; heck, many are intimidated by the idea of finding just one. Local (major metro area in your state) is much more approachable than cold calling across the country. It's also usually cheaper.
Besides an initial consult, or sh*t totally hitting the fan, most clients are probably never going to meet with their attorney face-to-face. But it's nice to know you could.
And if you're looking for someone who can also help with general advisement/compliance, as most small foundries are, you'll need someone who is licensed in the state that your business is registered. Practically speaking, that means someone local.
I have both local counsel and another firm on retainer in Seattle, whom I've never 'met' save through Skype. Both have done exceptional IP work, including EULA drafting and review. A good contracts guy or gal with knowledge of IP law and a subscription to WestLaw is going to be able to handle 99.9% of common licensing scenarios. Location shouldn't be the primary factor for hiring an attorney, but I just do not believe the only capable minds reside far away.
I should probably mention that I'm a bit biased, as my hubs is a GC, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
However, starting from a PSD... I assume there are no outlines at all, that the actual digitizing/making of outlines is done by you, in which case, I would say you hold the IP. Unless it's work-for-hire/you agree to give up the rights.
But I am also not a lawyer.