Reaching agreements between parties online can involve, and may even necessitate, the use of written contracts. The legal enforceability of such contracts is an issue for which our legal consultation will assist you.
Types of Contracts
There are three types of agreements you may need us to review: browse-wrap agreements, click-wrap agreements and shrink-wrap agreements. The enforceability of each type of contract varies is dependent upon a variety of legal factors.
Also known as “browse-wrap licenses,” these refer to website agreements which ask users to agree to specific terms and conditions without being required to initiate a separate action such as checking a box to agreement. Courts may be less inclined to enforce such contracts and will exercise discretion in determining whether there was knowing assent to the terms.
Frequently referred to as “click-wrap licenses” or “click-through agreements,” these are include website agreements where the user is required to initiate a separate action in the form of a click or checking of the box in order to execute the agreement. While there are scenarios in which they may not be found to be unenforceable, when done correctly these tend to be more enforceable than browse-wrap agreements.
The term shrink-wrap agreement is commonly used to refer to the hard copy a contract that may be included with software or other items sold in a box either by delivery or in stores. Software licenses are also referred to as EULAs, or End User License Agreements. Even this type of physical agreement can be contested as far as its legal validity and enforceability.
Agreeing to the terms of Internet contracts is often accomplished using an electronic signature. Also referred to as an e-signature or digital signature, this encrypted method is used commonly for both regulatory filings and e-commerce. National and international regulations are regularly passed and amended on this matter. Our staff of legal professionals is well-versed in this area and can offer insight on how to best approach electronic signatures to ensure enforceability.
How We Can Help You with Internet Contracts
As a basic guideline, it is reasonable to approach legal agreements reached between parties via the Internet as essentially the same as conventional contracts which may be negotiated offline. Indeed, the act of signing a contract using electronic signature in intended to introduce the same legal accountability as a traditional signature in writing. However, are certain exceptions and numerous issues unique to Internet contracting, which is one of many reasons advice from the qualified, knowledgeable law professionals at our firm is invaluable.
Whether you are looking to create an enforceable Internet contract or if you have encountered an online agreement and are unsure if you are legally bound to its terms, you are encouraged to submit an inquiry with our firm. If enforceability of the agreement is uncertain we may be able to assist you in pursuing legal recourse.
In the dispute context, it is our commitment to strive prudently on your behalf to achieve the best outcome reasonably possible in connection with legal filings, settlement negotiations, court proceedings, and official communications. We invite you to contact us today to discuss and clarify your rights as a website owner, Internet user, webmaster or otherwise.