Browsewrap Agreements Must Be Brought to Users’ Attention
In Online Terms can be Binding, even if You don’t have to Click!, I compared the enforceability of clickwrap and browsewrap agreements. This post discusses Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently examined notice requirements for browsewrap agreements to be enforced.
Plaintiff Nguyen filed a class action lawsuit against Barnes & Noble because it had cancelled his online order for a Hewlett-Packard Touchpad tablet computer. (more…)
Your input is critical with respect to the specific needs of your business:
- Identify the various classes of users of your site.
- For each class, describe the business relationship between users and your site / business. Include risks and other issues that particularly concern you.
The provisions that bear most closely on protecting website owners include those pertaining to:
- Disclaimer of warranties made by the owner
- Limitations on the extent of the owner’s liability
- Users’ warranties, especially as concerns any information that they may post
- Users’ acceptable behavior policies, which set the stage for . . .
- The owner’s right, in its sole discretion, to terminate use privileges
- Users’ obligation to indemnify the website owner against liabilities that result from user activities
- A requirement that any lawsuit related to the website be brought at a venue that is convenient for the owner
- An arbitration provision as a way to avoid litigation (though I am not a big fan of arbitration because it can be expensive and precludes small-claims court, which can be relatively quick and inexpensive)
Unfortunately, there are no definitive rules regarding the level of detail that the notice must contain. I have two guidelines that I like to follow.
The Top Ten Legal Mistakes of Startup and Early-stage Companies
I am pleased to make the article “The Top Ten Legal Mistakes of Startup and Early-stage Companies” available as a Free Download on the Downloads page.
Here are the ten mistakes that are discussed:
- Failing to comply with corporate formalities
- Pretending that employees are independent contractors
- Neglecting to provide and update an employee handbook
- Failing to establish or adhere to discipline or termination procedures
- Failing to ensure that the company owns its intellectual property
- Believing that “open source” means “no restrictions”
- Thinking that all NDAs have the same terms
- Using another company’s standard-form agreement
- Giving “family jewels” to an overseas supplier
Related post: Top Ten Intellectual Property Mistakes of Startup Entrepreneurs
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510 547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.