April 17, 2012 Articles

Recent Developments in Enforcement of Online Consumer Contracts

Courts around the country weigh in on the reach and scope of online user agreements.

By Whitty Somvichian – April 17, 2012

As consumer transactions have shifted increasingly to the Internet, courts have had to grapple with applying existing legal standards to a new and continually evolving online environment. For example, courts have had to determine when a binding contract is formed in the context of “clickwrap” agreements (agreements in which Internet users affirmatively click to agree to terms) and “browsewrap” agreements (agreements formed by a user’s interaction with a website without an explicit manifestation of assent). Beyond this initial question of contract formation, however, several additional factors may also impact the enforceability of an online contract term, as highlighted by recent case law.

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