Streamlining workflows to close deals faster is a perennial business endeavor. Fortunately, the methods to accomplish this goal are continuously improving. More and more technology tools are being developed to meet the need of the consumer—for both B2C and B2B companies. Because a successful sales cycle has evolved around customer behavior, businesses now need to adapt their internal processes to a) meet customer demand, b) scale, and c) hit growth targets. Slowing down a sales process and deal closings because of a bogged-down internal process is completely avoidable going into 2018.
US legal digital signature pioneer, PactSafe, is developing novel ways of signing legal documents including a ‘smile to sign’ application that uses facial recognition. The Indianapolis company, founded in 2013, is also exploring how it can use voice activated signatures via virtual personal assistants such as Alexa.
What’s a safe way to ensure that clickwrap agreements are valid and enforceable? Learn from companies like Safeway. In 2011, Safeway quietly updated its terms and services to reflect the difference between its delivery and in-store prices. The problem? When a company updates its terms of service, it's making a new offer to its users, which requires acceptance.
Today we are excited to announce the launch of our Salesforce integration on the CRM platform’s AppExchange. The PactSafe platform's unrivaled modern signing methods are built to expedite the process of getting contracts signed. Customers like ForeScout use PactSafe and its Salesforce integration to save their sales team time, keep operations teams happy with better data hygiene, and improve the user experience for signers with its one-of-a-kind “click-to-sign” and “text-to-sign” signing methods.
Contract cloning? Check. Viewing signers and activity by group? Check. Comments? Check. Gangs all here for release day! And per usual, our team has been working hard to bring you new and exciting features inside the app. Here's the scoop on each new feature:
Technology has come a long way since the song of the dial-up modem and weight of the bag phone. Have you seen the iPhone X?! While many are excited for innovations in things like mobile devices and self-driving cars, they still seem tied to virtual ink and paper. Why is that?
You’ve identified a customer’s needs and address them with your solution. You sent all your best marketing materials, given your best spiel, and emailed your contact the contract. The sale should close soon. Just a short wait now. So you wait… and you wait… and you follow up only to be told to wait some more. It’s a situation you probably encounter before. Your sales are caught in limbo. How can you prevent this from happening and start closing deals faster?
SaaS companies rely on contracts for recurring revenue. They’re one of the first and most important interactions you’ll have with a customer. They're also a great opportunity to show what they can expect from you in the future. Make it count.
How many times have you clicked, “I’ve read and agree to the terms and conditions,” without actually reading them? If you’re like most people it’s probably easier to ask if you’ve ever read them. Free wi-fi at the airport? Sure, “I agree.” Now let me check Snapchat without using my precious data.
I was selected by PactSafe to be part of the ultimate tech internship experience through Techpoint’s Xtern program this summer. I learned how to work on an agile team, build my own SDK for our API and more!
This blog has been more difficult to write than any paper I’ve been assigned at Rose-Hulman. In part, because I’m trying to sum up a few months of experiences in just a few paragraphs - but also because this post marks the end of my internship here at PactSafe. I hope this blog post does my time at this wonderful company justice. Well, here it goes…
Risk versus efficiency.
It's the tension mounted between the legal team and the rest of the organization since the beginning of time -- and it'll exist long into the future. Or perhaps, it won't.
The majority of Software as a Service (SaaS) apps rely on personalized consumer accounts individuals create when first accessing the platform. Essentially, this exchange allows the business operating the SaaS application to generate a license for the user, which in turn grants them access to the app. Because of the nature of this process, it’s imperative that proper legal steps are taken to ensure that the exchange is secure for both the company and consumer. One of the best ways to successfully do this is to implement the clickwrap method.
This article was originally published on Medium.
We’ve all seen ads like these or similar all over the web —a limited time free offer for some miracle product — in this case, it's Avalure's ReNew Eye Serum/magical wrinkle remover cream:
Slow, faulty, or an entire lack thereof—a Contract Management process can be a huge road block within numerous company sales cycles. Traditional contract management processes like manual paper pushing, review, approvals, and more can really slow down your business. An online process can cut out a lot of unnecessary steps within your contract lifecycle. By going digital, you can transform how your organization manages risk, and ultimately shorten your sales cycle and reduce spending. We're not just talking about putting files in Dropbox, or moving things from desks to email...
Implementing an eSignature strategy is one thing, but taking full advantage of that strategy is another. When using an electronic signature as part of your contract process, you’re already taking a huge step towards a more streamlined, accelerated form of business. But there are a few more things you need to be sure you’re doing to really capitalize off this technology.
We are thrilled to announce our new blog series, PactSafe Take 5, where we dive into how different industries and professionals are adapting to new technologies and using them to improve how they do business with customers. The best part? These valuable features will take little more than 5 minutes out of your day.
Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new rule restricting the use of arbitration clauses in contracts for all sorts of financial products such as credit cards, payday loans, auto loans and more. Why are arbitration clauses so important? They are typically used to prevent aggreived consumers from banding together in class action lawsuits by requiring them to deal with financial institutions 1:1 in form of an arbitrator.
You may have questions about the legitimacy of the click-to-sign eSignature, and rightfully so. How can clicking a button be as legally enforceable as signing your name? Doesn’t an electronic signature need to look like an ink signature?
Basically every commercial website you stumble upon these days will present you with some form of click-through agreement upon registration. Whether this be creating a new social media account or signing up for a daily newsletter from your favorite website, chances are you will probably have to click some sort of “I Accept” button before continuing on. Clicking that button is just as legally enforceable as putting pen to paper, but it’s a LOT more efficient. Here’s how:
No matter how awesome your product or service is, you’re going to run into trouble if you aren’t checking your online legal terms. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You’re probably familiar with those clickable terms of service boxes you are presented with when you first become a user. These clickwrap agreements use a button labeled “I agree” instead of a traditional ink and paper signature, but they are still just as legally enforceable.
Think about the last time you were presented with a terms of service form, or any other type of online legal agreement. Now answer this question: did you actually read through the whole thing? We're guessing you didn't, and you're not alone. NPR recently conducted a study to look more in depth at typical human behavior when it comes to lengthy legal documents, and found that those who don't read through the full policies aren't the exception, they are the rule.
Gone are the days of mailing and remailing contracts, and we could not be more thrilled. Written contracts can often be time-consuming and complex, and honestly just a big pain. Luckily, eSignatures have come to save the day! Contracts don’t necessarily need the typical ink-to-paper form of signing anymore, yet some companies have not taken advantage of all that eSignatures and clickwraps have to offer. In this blog we will outline some contract-signing practices that have yet to completely fall to the wayside (but hopefully will soon).
There’s a big difference between a good landing page and a great landing page, and you know it when you see it. No matter what a company is selling or what type of consumer they are targeting, a great landing page can make all of the difference. The most effective landing pages will be the ones that are designed to convert or warm up potential customers before sending them through into the next stage of the buying journey.
This article was originally published on Medium.
A couple of weeks ago, we unveiled a completely new and unique solution to the world called the Contract Execution Platform. We got an amazing response—we also had great attendance on our webinar focused on providing 3 ways businesses like Mopro, CDW, and SwervePay are sending automated, frictionless contracts, and how you can reimagine the contract experience within your business. That tells me one thing: There’s an appetite for a better way to execute contracts.
But what does a Contract Execution Platform do? We’re going to be writing a blog series providing you with some thoughtful posts around how to re-envision your business relationships to drive faster, more seamless experiences at every level. My goal is to get you thinking about your roadmap internally to help reduce your people-driven processes and to use the power of technology to simplify. A contract should be a living, breathing, connected cross-section of data that drives action in your business—it shouldn’t weigh you down with overhead or cost like what you typically see in contract management.
Rarely do I get excited about building out a new integration. It’s not that I’m not up to the challenge, (because let’s be honest what self-respecting developer doesn’t get amped at building out a new feature!?), but the idea of having to dig through outdated documentation for an overly complex API that then requires three methods of authentication just to get in, well that just doesn’t sound like a fun afternoon.
I've attended quite a few legal tech/operations related conferences and trade shows over the past 10 years - both as a practicing attorney and as the CEO of PactSafe. Most of the them have a heavily vendor-driven agenda geared toward law firms. I'm often left with very little hope that the legal profession is on the right track to evolve and embrace efficiency and technology. Last week, though, I had the privilege to attend the 2017 CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Institute in Las Vegas, and I left with a much different outlook.
Yesterday our Co-Founder & COO Eric Prugh hosted a webinar breaking down three ways PactSafe is reimagining contracts in the "right-now" economy. During the webinar, he shared three examples of how current PactSafe customers use the contract execution platform. (Spoiler alert: it's revolutionary)
We're thrilled to announce that we've built Approvals into the Contract Execution Platform. Now, when sending Requests, users can designate an order of internal folks at their company who need to approve it before it goes out to prospects, employees, or partners. Users can setup approvers really easily:
Then, when users who require approval are sending contracts, they can submit for approval based upon a designated Approval Order:
Think this is a sweet workflow that might fit your business? Let's chat.
It's a pretty exciting week for our team at PactSafe as we officially launch some significant, and game changing, upgrades to our platform. Tech companies are always evolving, adding new features, and more, however the story behind this particular evolution in our platform and our business is one we feel needs to be shared.
Today, PactSafe unveils its Contract Execution Platform, the only platform of its kind that ensures confidence in the end-to-end contract experience. PactSafe’s all-encompassing solution empowers any business to reimagine the contract execution experience, while automating the management and centralization of all contract and transaction data.
If you're anything like us here at PactSafe, you are obsessed with Mike Judge and Alec Berg’s comedy about the American tech industry: Silicon Valley. The show, which just started it's fourth season last month, centers around a group of young entrepreneurs trying to make it big despite the hijinks they regularly find themselves in. Silicon Valley successfully satirizes the tech goliaths and the startup world, in a hilarious and completely relatable way.
We're just now exploring the integrations that are possible with the Contract Execution Platform, and the only problem is that there are so many places to start. We serve legal teams, sales teams, and development teams, so the possibilities are endless as far as productized integrations. Naturally, we turned to our customers and looked at what they wanted to achieve. What resulted was a native integration to Salesforce that allows sales folks to connect your Opportunities to the PactSafe Contract Execution Platform to send contracts for acceptance or esignature.
We’ve pioneered how contract execution is presented and tracked inside web and mobile apps, and we’re coming 'atcha today to help you find the best features to streamline your own workflows to follow suit. PactSafe's contract execution platform helps eliminate friction by engaging customers how and where they want. One feature completely unique to PactSafe that guides this strategy is SMS contract execution.
Read on about the SMS feature or dive deeper into Innovative eSignature alternatives for Developers on ProgrammableWeb.
The Forbes 2016 State of the Cloud Report details the five stages that companies go through before committing to trusting various aspects of the cloud (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). For software as a service companies, trusting the cloud is an unspoken agreement between teams and the force of the internet. If the cloud goes down, we're all doomed! Quite literally.
The European Union’s new Global Data Protection Regulation will begin to take effect in 2018, and the legislation is dictating wholesale changes for companies when it comes to the handling of customer data & privacy practices. With heavy fines and increased enforcement budgets, the corporate penalties for mistakes are far more real and penal than past privacy initiatives dictated from jurisdictions outside the United States.
The proof is in the pudding. And to establish the fact or truth of a statement, there needs to be proof. What denotes adequate proof? Proof typically comes in the form of evidence at the scene of a crime or a witness. Often times, it ends with "my word against yours."
Think about this: When an online customer is trying to cash in on a warranty or uphold the contents of their membership agreement, there aren't witnesses or any piece of tangible evidence to prove this. Therefore, how do we prove that their warranty isn't expired? Prove that their membership was paid in full?
Whether by accepting a clickwrap agreement online or maually signing a piece of paper, contracts cross our paths every day. Salesforce and every other SaaS teams spend hours perfecting their sales cycles with the best practices for closing deals. These tips help us personalize the sale and serve our customers' needs, but what happens after that?
A new release is here and it's time to party! Check out the new features we've added to the platform. We're really excited to add features that will bring you confidence in your contract experience.
Similar to using a clickwrap for signing contracts, clicking or tapping through an agreement in order to sign can also be used in the same way to gain customers acceptance to your website.
Contracts don’t necessarily need the typical ink-to-paper form of signing anymore. This form of signing is definitely still used, but is being pushed aside by a faster, more efficient way of getting a contract signed and deals closed.
SaaS onboarding is heavily embodied by the need for customers to understand the value a product will be bringing to their everyday workflow. This Forbes' customer onboarding piece by Sujan Patel says, "The best onboarding flows give users a taste of the value proposition first, then once the user sees the value, collect the critical user data necessary to grow a customer relationship." After all, that's the reason customers entrust a service provider to help ease a pain they have and to streamline some type of process for them.
These tips below are some of our favorite strategic methods for engaging customers from the very beginning of onboarding and into the entire customer lifecycle.
When you’re as hungry as we are here at PactSafe, (hungry to learn and hungry in a literal sense, i.e. our snack supply,) you find yourself staying up to speed with all the coolest SaaS trends and discoveries. Food tech is no exception. If the PactSafe team can find the good food faster, we really pay attention.
Check out these SaaS products we’re craving!
With the month of March upon us comes the opportunity to do a little spring cleaning, and start fresh. Luckily, there are hundreds of productivity apps and tools that can help you in your pursuit of a decluttered life. Here are some of our personal favorites.
A liberal arts college prides itself on producing a well-rounded student, someone who is curious and excited about learning outside of their comfort zone. As a product of liberal arts education, obviously I am partial to this approach to learning.
According to a number of tech companies, employees with liberal arts degrees are actually preferred. Fast Company noted that this is so because “the liberal arts train students to thrive in subjectivity and ambiguity, a necessary skill in the tech world where few things are black and white.”
FinancialForce conducted a survey of HR professionals asking, “What are the major pain points you face today?” Out of the answers collected, the top two pain points were:
- Completing manual processes and spreadsheets
- Lack of systems integration
The solution to both of these pain points was technology adoption. New software with automation, recordkeeping and data analysis capabilities enables Human Resource Departments to streamline their workload and be much more organized.
As we enter the third month of 2017, new year trends are in full swing, and growing. How are you keeping up? Did you even make note of which trends are on the rise, or check out the 5 SaaS trends we put on our watchlist for 2017?
After PactSafe becomes a part of your team’s daily routine, like any product, users become accustomed to the features. After creating, editing and signing your first contract in PactSafe, It becomes natural to reimagine contracts with our editor, PDF contract upload, sending contracts, and more. Contracts are amazingly simplified as they fly into your signers’ inboxes for easy agreement acceptance. This is important for your in-house counsel to understand as we've shifted almost completely to online signing.
As administers of these contracts, here are some steps to ensure that the contents of your contracts are as user-friendly as possible:
We know that PactSafe is the first and only cloud-based legal system of record out there on the market. PactSafe can file and organize any company’s paperwork electronically and allows companies to electronically send contracts to customers and businesses alike. Our product enables signers to use a clickwrap to e-sign contracts, making business flow a lot quicker and easier.
Here are some awesome PactSafe features that you may not have thought about and can start using today.
On February 7th through the 9th, Brian Powers and I attended SaaStr Annual 2017 in San Francisco. We went to sessions, met with tons of SaaS companies, and took in some important lessons from some of the hottest SaaS companies around. I’ve summarized some of my findings based on my experiences here at PactSafe and how they align to what we’re doing. I hope you take something away from them, too!
If you're anything of a college sports fan, you've seen the process tens of hundreds of times.
A prodigous high school football star, flanked by parents and coaches at a long table -- in front of flashing cameras & media members ready to cast a teen's decision to the world. The array of hats arranged in front of him, praise or hate set to follow from whichever he picks.
Then, it's time for the pen & paper.
This is National Signing Day in college football.
Nowadays, everything is all about the cloud. Since “the cloud” is a very broad and vague term, it’s easy to feel intimidated, and maybe even suspicious of where your important information is being stored. I mean, what is the cloud, exactly? This feeling is not unwarranted, as legal risks and considerations presented by the cloud can easily be overlooked by those not familiar with them. However, the cloud can also be extremely beneficial, when approached correctly and legally.
Last week, PactSafe Founder and CEO, Brian Powers, was a speaker at Evolve Law's Dozen Darwin Talks on the future of legal. Taking place in NYC, the Evolve Law Darwin Talks were the same week as LegalTech 2017, dubbed the largest legal technology event of the year. Darwin Talks are a common Evolve Law speaker series designed to focus on the next big innovation in the realm of legal, specifically legal tech.
This is the second installment of our PactSafe Podcasts blog series, designed to clue you in to our team’s favorite series to listen to on the go! Part one covered product management, check it out here.In honor of Groundhog Day, let's bring these podcasts out of hiding to get some good listening in, whether we have 6 weeks left of Winter or not.
Here are some legal tech audio bloggers that we think are awesome:
Signing documents is a part of our daily lives, but very rarely do we stop and think about how much this practice has changed over the years. People have been making their mark since the days of pictographs and hieroglyphics. But, fast forward a couple thousand years, and the power of the signature is right at our fingertips. Literally.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- PactSafe, the leader in providing in-house legal teams and software developers with a legal system of record, continues to gain momentum heading into 2017 by announcing significant growth, the addition of new enterprise customers and a number of game-changing enhancements to its platform.
When not implemented properly, it can be costly. Companies like GoGo Wireless, Safeway, BMO Harris Bank, and Zappos have all suffered the consequences of not following best practices with multi-million dollar lawsuits and costly litigation. So what are the next steps to properly implement these types of agreements?
The 30 Under 30 list on Forbes is a collection of young entrepreneurs that are making an impact in many different areas of business worldwide. These folks range from people who left school at the age of 16 to Harvard graduates with Ph.Ds. No matter where they came from, they all have the same goal in mind: to pursue their dreams and influence the world by providing a service that is new and revolutionary.
Though there are 30 entrepreneurs that made the list, we’d like to hone in on the game-changing companies where these entrepreneurs showcase their talents daily.
One of the great things about the tech industry is that it is constantly changing. What’s trending one week, can be nearing obsolescence a month later (cough cough, Pokemon Go). However, in our opinion, these 2016 tech trends don’t seem to be dying off fast enough!
Hopefully 2017 will stick to the “out with the old, in with the new” mantra, and these trends will be sent to the tech graveyard.
Before PactSafe, TagStation's legal counsel and sales team wanted to find a solution to “shrinkwrap” the contract process so that it was less prone to negotiation, with a quicker turnaround.
Whether creating a contract for real estate purposes or a business-to-business transaction, a well-detailed and planned-out contract is a must for getting business done.
Ensuring that each aspect of the sales agreement serves a purpose as well as covering the necessary bases is vital to a successful business transaction.
Check out this list of must-haves for your next sales agreement:
Since the dawn of the iPod, podcasts on a variety of topics have been available to listeners via iTunes. In the early 2000’s, these narrative recordings seemed to peak in popularity, followed by a slow decline over the next decade. Recently, however, there has been a resurgence, in what NYmag refers to as the Great Podcast Renaissance. It has been determined that the main stimulus behind the podcast revival is pretty obvious: it’s all thanks to the commuter.
What would a New Year be without some predictions? Now is the time to check in on your PactSafe horoscope and find out which of our features will best suit your zodiac sign in 2017.
Do you have any idea of which legal events you should be tracking across your website and mobile apps? Are you implementing a legal system of record to keep time-stamped proof of these important online transactions? Cold and flu season is in full swing, and if the proper digital recordkeeping isn't in place, your product could be under the weather too.
The E-Warranty Act of 2015 eliminates the longstanding requirement that product warranties must be printed and included inside of a product's packaging. While the E-Warranty Act can do a lot for your business, the primary benefit to businesses is cost reduction associated with printing and product packaging. However, there are some additional areas in which the E-Warranty Act can save your business money.
While numerous SaaS companies were busy earning praise this year and being honored on lists like “The Best Business Products of 2016”, much is left to conquer within the world of SaaS this New Year.
These five SaaS industry trends in particular, will be on the rise throughout 2017. Put them on your watch list as we embark on another innovative year.
As the name implies, the e-Warranty Act of 2015 allows businesses to comply with certain consumer product warranty rules and regulations with printing those warranties on actual paper - hence the term "e-Warranty." To understand what the e-Warranty Act actually is, lets dive into what it looked like for a business to provide warranties for consumer products prior to the e-Warranty Act.
With 2016 nearing year-end and holidays coming at us from all angles, it's hard to find time for gifting friends and family with memorable items. Here are some spectacular last-minute techy gifts that will be sure to wow every person on your list.
Finding a cool tech gift for the developer on your list is hard enough, yet alone figuring out what they want in their world of coding.
At PactSafe, we spend a large amount of our time thinking about this. The fact of the matter is that no matter how cool a software idea is, if implementation is a hassle—developers are not going to be sprinting towards adoption.
We scoured Twitter for our favorite legal and legal tech social accounts to share. Get your knowledge on with these bright tweets by following today!
We love e-commerce and the everchanging products/services being made available to consumers like us! New e-commerce efforts are emerging so often, it's difficult to keep up. Here are 6 e-commerce companies that we think are doing some pretty cool stuff.
Online retail sales in the US are skyrocketing, and with increased online competitive environments this holiday season, the growth will only continue. Based on the Forrester Research eCommerce Forecast, the projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of e-commerce over the next five years is 10%, translating to $480 billion in online sales by 2019.
We're excited to share with you our newest features that we've been working on all November! In this release, we've completely revamped our signing experience for your signers to be more mobile, faster to sign, and easier to fill out fields inside of a contract. Not only that, but we've added a TON of functionality to improve sending contracts including the ability to upload contracts inside a request and upload PDFs to annotate for signature. Check out the video to see first hand how the features work!
Time travel back to November 2, 2016 when we were all on the edge of our seats watching the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs fight for game seven of the World Series. The teams contended at elite playing levels tying up scores and laying it all out there until Chicago came out on top. We want to help you be the better performing team no matter what game you’re playing in.
Any business that manufactures consumer products recently received some great news. The Federal Trade Commission finally released final rules implementing the E-Warranty Act of 2015, which essentially eliminates the longstanding requirement that product warranties be printed and included inside of a product's packaging.
The primary benefit to businesses is obvious: a significant reduction in the costs associated with printing and product packaging. Less printing also means less environmental waste, and of course, less paper junk consumers are forced to deal with!
Box CEO, Aaron Levie tells us, "We're entering an era of enterprise software where I want to be able to mix and match my tools from a set of vendors that might be five, 10, 20 different applications that I want to work together seamlessly."
So how do we make that happen? Through integrating third-party solutions with our own products.
We would be doing you a disservice if we tried to offer a product that we didn’t love. But we’re not about that, and, we LOVE PactSafe and the solutions it offers our customers. That being said, one practical thing PactSafe does is save users’ money. If that doesn’t pump up your jam, not sure what will.
Eliminating paper trails and conforming to digital standards takes a lot of time and work. With all of this cross-over into digital business, enforcing the legality of it all can be an afterthought. Without the right systems tracking what’s executed, the data needed to recreate that contract, as well as the risk you’re exposed to with loopholes in a single provision...could be catastrophic to what you’re trying to do.
Sign-up...NOW! We always want sign-ups to happen as soon as possible, because that means business. But does it mean legal business? If your customers are signing up online and aren’t being prompted to accept your legal terms before sign-up confirmation, it might not.
If you're selling nearly any service or product online, there's probably a better-than-not chance that you've dealt with chargebacks, or you're going to soon. A 2012 JP Morgan survey on the subject of online payment fraud found that merchants lost over $1.5 BILLION to chargeback disputes in a single year alone.
Just about every company has an e-commerce aspect attributing to their success now, and it’s not by mistake. This strategy is effective because it positively enhances multiple facets of a business. E-commerce isn’t dropping by the wayside any time soon, and here are a few of the key reasons why:
Recording important things isn’t new; glancing through history there are hieroglyphics, cassettes, tape, and now, digital cloud storage. Think of the giant filing cabinet in your parents’ house with any document you could ever possibly need (and all the ones you don’t) that sits there just in case. Having all of the records in that filing cabinet isn’t a bad thing- you may need something in there at a time undisclosed to you. Keeping everything on file may seem overzealous to most, but there is something to say about being safe rather than sorry - hence why thousands of people across the globe refuse to throw away anything that might seem important. That’s the foundation to understanding what a Legal System of Record is.
With services like Uber, TaskRabbit, Blue Apron, and Trunk Club, smartphones have turned into our one-stop-shop for a self-service mindset for customers. This trend of a self-serv economy has become the general expectation and soon, it will no longer be considered innovative for B2B SaaS companies. In order to achieve that one of a kind experience, every service or product purchased should start to be delivered immediately.
According to Forrester, the 2019 B2B e-commerce market’s worth is estimated at $1.1T compared to
the B2C market at $480B. This study showed that the two industries generating the majority of market growth are manufacturers and wholesalers. But we know that it doesn’t stop there. Business models are being poked and prodded as distribution channels evolve and pricing becomes even more dynamic. So yes, B2B e-commerce is everywhere; even places you wouldn’t think to look.
Here is a list of companies that use e-commerce without the majority of people even realizing it.
Rather than assuming your online legal is in order, take a second to really take a look at it; are you walking the fine line of wrestling with unconscionability?
Too much work goes into developing a website and mobile apps for everything to not be completely secure. Here are four legal events that you should definitely be tracking on your website and within your mobile apps. And most importantly, they should be implemented properly.
The self-service economy is all about speed. Your phone is the one-stop-shop for on-demand service that has come to be expected. With apps being downloaded by the second, serving customers “later” is no longer an option. The option is, “now”, end of story.
Amazon. Ebay. Etsy. Poshmark. Digital marketplaces have made it overwhelmingly simple to sell things online. Opening an Etsy shop is as easy as clicking a button, providing some information, payment, and then you’re on your way! Etsy handles the legal regulations on that end, as do the other examples listed above. But what happens when you are the one responsible for what happens when you sell online?
So we’ve already been over how a clickwrap API works, but why would you ever need one? Is that really a question? Clickwrap APIs are the best things ever, duh. No but really, what makes someone wake up in the morning and think, “Yes today I need a clickwrap API embedded into my website!” People don’t think that, which has proven to be a problem.
PactSafe partners with CONTRIB to launch eSignatures.com as a resource for small businesses and consumers.
As part of its continual effort to reduce the pain and stress involved in the contracting process, PactSafe has partnered with Contrib to launch eSignatures.com today to help everyday small businesses and consumers send and sign contracts on a free or pay-as-you-go basis. eSignatures.com’s registration-free process allows individuals to upload contracts, add signatures, and send contracts -- all without the red tape and hassle of dealing with signing up for a service or downloading an app.
This is a weekly series to help you get to know your computer/apps better by learning the shortcuts that help you move faster across or within the apps you know and love. It takes practice, but habit forming shortcut usage can add up to days worth of time savings in a year.
The complex world of software engineering is a fascinating one. The precision required to build out any feature for an app or website takes an army of developers and a lot of time. When it comes to wanting a clickable agreement on your website and automatic digital recordkeeping, that also has to be built. Don’t want to build it? There’s a clickwrap API for that.
The core of our customer base are developers at companies of all sizes—they are the folks in the trenches writing the code that businesses rely on for all sorts of business purposes. That's why making PactSafe easy to integrate has been a huge focus for us from day one. Today, I'm excited to announce that we've taken huge strides to make those integrations even easier with the launch of our Node.js SDK and Java SDK, an OAuth 2 authorization flow, and the Beta release of our PactSafe for Zapier integration.
This is a weekly series to help you get to know your computer/apps better by learning the shortcuts that help you move faster across or within the apps you know and love. It takes practice, but habit forming shortcut usage can add up to days worth of time savings in a year.
This month's release brings tons of amazing updates to improve creating, sending, and finding the contracts you need to track within PactSafe. We've added the ability to filter your signature requests, add images & tables to your contracts, add dynamic values to your clickwrap contracts, customize how you export, and other improvements to your experience.
Your online business is humming along, people are signing-up and buying stuff online, all while you assume that the business is protected by the legal terms and conditions that you are (ideally) presenting via some clickwrap agreement. Then POOF you get sued -- and not just any lawsuit -- but a dreaded class action lawsuit! You think "no problem, our terms and conditions have a class action waiver that requires arbitration."
If you're anything like us here at the PactSafe offices, you're probably spending a few minutes over lunch this week wandering around the streets outside your office trying to catch Pokemon. If you're not, well don't worry -- the guilt, shame, and embarassment of walking around as a grown adult playing an adaptation of a late-90s children's game wears off quickly. There's still plenty of time for you to catch up, reach Level 5, and head over to the nearest Pokemon Gym in your neighborhood to do battle.
It's such an exciting time here in Indy in preparation for the Indy 500! When I think of the 500, I go deeper than all the drivers. There's SO MUCH that goes into making those cars fast enough to win on race day—the technology, the crews, the mechanics, the sponsors. That's why I wanted to share my own recommendations for how you can collaborate with employees, customers, and more better within your own business.
How much time per day do you spend replying to internal email? Or rely on email to manage internal processes? Or hate your customer support system? Here at PactSafe, we've been able to establish some awesome productivity & collaboration practices from Day 1. Really, I'd like to think of our team as efficient as one of Roger Penske's legendary Pit Crews. There are a lot of apps that have enabled the perfect level of collaboration to help us do our jobs as efficiently as possible. To the point where PactSafe has eliminated internal email. We reserve email exclusively for customer, investor, and partner communications. These are the apps I'd recommend to any business looking to up the collaboration game (while also upping the productivity game).
This is a weekly series to help you get to know your computer better by learning the shortcuts that help you move faster across or within the apps you know and love. It takes practice, but habit forming shortcut usage can add up to days worth of time savings in a year. View my last post here.
Sometimes working with a computer feels like you're fighting the Dark Side. Especially if you continuously keep messing a word up you just can't seem to spell right ... Might make you a little angry...
<PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK> as you smash away at the Delete or Backspace button on your keyboard. There has to be a better way than deleting one letter at a time when you want to revise a sentence or delete a line of text. Fear not! Today's Mac shortcut (also can be done on a PC!) will help you delete entire words or lines of text purely with your mind... Or... a really cool keyboard shortcut. Let's dive in!
Remember the good 'ole days of carefree clickwrapping?
In the past, judges have thumped clickwrap agreements for poor design, confusing presentation, and other no-no's that could typically be avoided with a bit of forethought. A recent federal court order shows that courts (and lawyers) are really starting to dig into how clickwraps work, and what goes on behind the scenes.
This is a weekly series to help you get to know your computer better by learning the shortcuts that help you move faster across or within the apps you know and love. It takes practice, but habit forming shortcut usage can add up to days worth of time savings in a year. View my last post here.
Gmail has over 1 BILLION monthly active users and has become an amazing communication tool for small, medium, and large businesses alike with their growth with Google Apps for Business. We use it and love it—and of course, as soon as I moved to Gmail for business (from Outlook), I had to learn all the shortcuts to make the most of my emailing needs.
So let's look at 5 amazing time-saving Gmail shortcuts that will make you an email wizard.
Furthering employee education often begins with communication skills, leadership, and teamwork--which are surely integral components of a functioning workplace. However, if you could create value within other facets of your business, wouldn't you?
Do you want to build your own career path in a young, hungry, SaaS startup? Have you ever visited the hip, culturally booming Broad Ripple Village? Are you interested in working there on a regular basis in prime real-estate walking distance from coffee shops, restaurants, and cultural trails? Does a company space ship mean anything to you?
This is a weekly series to help you get to know your computer better by learning the shortcuts that help you move faster across or within the apps you know and love. It takes practice, but habit forming shortcut usage can add up to days worth of time savings in a year. View last week's post here.
For the uber organized, keeping folders, adding tags, and structuring things in a way to easily find files and materials might be a habit. So often, though, I lose track of files almost immediately after I save them. If only there were an easy way to search! Well, you're in luck! This week, I'm going to give you the Mac shortcuts (or Macbook shortcuts) you need to find all the amazing information you've got stored on your computer.
Anyone can be closing fully-enforceable sales processes online with a single click. That goes for SaaS companies, too -- whether you've got a 'BUY ONLINE' option available or not. Amazon's one-click purchase checkout system doesn't have to be reserved for the biggest companies in e-commerce or online retailers. You too can do business faster, today.
This is the first of a weekly series to help you get to know your computer better by learning the shortcuts that help you move faster across or within the apps you know and love. It takes practice, but habit forming shortcut usage can add up to days worth of time savings in a year.
At PactSafe, we're all about making business happen faster, and our tips don't just include website legal agreements. What better way to move faster than to get to know your computer better and learn some super handy Mac shortcuts or Macbook shortcuts! We're mostly a Mac shop here, so I thought I'd start by promoting some little known tips to the layman Mac user.
Too many times I watch Mac users not be as efficient as they possibly can be—meaning, they click the mouse too much! The keyboard shortcut is your friend. Whether it's switching between apps, windows, or tabs... our lives are constantly multi-tasking across apps or within our browser and can create a LOT of clicks. Apple has made incredibly easy devices to use, but they've also instilled plenty of shorthand goodies to help you work faster than you thought possible. So let's dive in.
Knowing what clickwrap and browsewrap agreements are and how they function is a step in the right direction when it comes to wrapping your mind around one-click agreements. Understanding why those agreements can benefit your business, though? That requires digging a little deeper.
Clickwraps can function on your website when it comes to enforcing your online terms, but also serve as a contracting tool and the easiest way to sign. If you don’t think clicking-to-sign is worth your time, check out this case and the reality of how words really can go a long way.
Organization is vital to success. We are always looking for ways to communicate better, maintain focus, and collaborate efficiently. Closing deals is how you make money; however, trying to make money amidst disorganization is chaotic.
Automation is the root of of organization because you don't have to think about it. What would you do if the contracts you created and signed were safely filed away for you?
Trading paper contracts for eSignatures can help you get there, AND it will completely change the way you work.
While we definitely can’t vouch for all eSignature platforms, PactSafe Transact is our Signature Acceleration Platform that certainly renders a legal signature.
How do we know that? We like to follow laws!
There are a lot of misconceptions about eSignatures; some rumors say they aren’t legally binding or that using online signature platforms creates extra work for users. What’s true? What’s not? Let’s clear the air by getting down and dirty with these common questions.
Yesterday was a big day for PactSafe as we launched Transact, our new “click-to-sign” product that allows businesses to quickly and easily get contracts signed with one click. It's a big step for us, and a very calculated one that was driven by one thing - it's what our customers wanted.
PactSafe launches ‘Transact’ to accelerate and transform the way businesses send, negotiate and sign contracts.
Transact speeds up the painful process of getting contracts signed with the fastest eSignature solution available.
From moving on in to moving on up— launching products and launching parternships, PactSafe has had a tremendous year and we couldn't have done it without your support! While we plan on taking 2016 by full force, let’s first take a second to look back on our noteworthy moments from 2015.
Author: Brian Powers, Founder and CEO of PactSafe, Inc / licensed attorney
© 2015 PactSafe, Inc, All Rights Reserved
By now, you're likely familar with daily fantasy sports powerhouses DraftKings and FanDuel and the controversy surrounding the two in recent weeks. Added capital, wild success, and a relentless advertising blitz helped to raise suspicions about the companies' practices—some of which were confirmed when reports surfaced that employees of the companies were using inside information to win large sums of money playing the games on the competitors’ platform. Since that time, the two companies have been served with a number of lawsuits for fraud, negligence, racketeering, and false advertising, in turn, facing heightened scrutiny from regulators. A federal inquiry is already underway into the industry's practices. Nevada has already demanded the sites become properly licensed in the manner of a sports book. But, the industry's most threatening move might come from the state of New York, where the state's Attorney General has requested an injunction to keep the sites from operating within the Empire State's borders.
From vampires and witches on Halloween to stuffing induced food comas and onward—it seems as the season of holiday spending has snuck up on us once again.
So you have a startup, or are thinking about starting one. Congrats! We’re proud of you. Finding that million dollar idea takes passion and perseverance—something not everyone has! Now let me ask you...have you reached that “Oh shit” moment yet? The moment where you say, “Oh shit! This is really happening. How do I make sure my agreements with clients are secure?!”
You probably haven’t. That’s because most people don’t reach that moment until something goes really wrong. Not, “missed the electric bill” wrong—more like, “oh shit, we’re getting sued for millions of dollars” type of wrong.
The last week has been filled with excitement for the PactSafe team as they first announced several major accomplishments, including additional funding, a new developer API called Vault, and the completion of San-Francisco based Acceleprise program.
It's more than just terms of service and privacy policies. This article not only details the latest case involving terms of service and clickwrap agreements, but provides examples of how clickwrap agreements continue to work wonders for business legal.
PactSafe Gains Momentum: Secures $1.2M in Total Funding, Launches New Developer API, and Completes San Francisco-Based Acceleprise Program
It's a proud day for me and my team. Today, it is with great excitement that we announce PactSafe has raised over $1.2M in total funding, has launched a new Legal API called Vault for embedding contracts anywhere, and is completing the prestigious Bay Area Acceleprise program. It’s because of you—our customers, partners, investors, and friends—that we are where we are today. And we’re just getting started.
Isn’t it enough that your day is already filled with managing business affairs, legal affairs, and making sure that all of your clients are happy? And that barely covers the broad spectrum of what you undertake in a single day. After countless hours of drafting legal agreements, waiting for revisions and approval, managing the liaison between you and the development team to make sure changes are actually implemented and up-to-date, then still having to test the agreements on the website, you’re putting in unnecessary hours for the menial task of publishing your latest draft—not even speaking to the opportunity cost of your missed work.
In tune with the changing of the seasons, Autumn has brought PactSafe lots of positive change this past month! As we roll further into Q4—our involvement with Acceleprise is coming to a close, we are adding artwork to our office walls, and desks have been rearranged to make room for our newest team member, Kate Davis.
Wondering why you can't find content from places like ESPN or Grantland on YouTube anymore? It all has to do with the site's new YouTube Red premium service, and yup, you guessed it — a terms of service update.
Content management systems allow easy updates, quick access to reusable content, blog organization, and features on features on features! Maybe you’re a Wordpress gal or a Squarespace chap; either way, you understand the great, simplifying features that you rely on your CMS for every day.
While it seems like these sidekicks cover your back, there are some things it can’t do. Think of that cool Ninja blender you bought with the high wattage, pureeing genius, but the inability to wash itself. What? I still have to wash this? But, it’s a Ninja blender…
Your website CMS is designed for two types of people within your company: your marketing team and your development team. Legal is typically an afterthought as they aren't the ones buying the CMS to begin with. One problem, though—lawyers and judges don't care. This eBook will clue you into why this is a big deal. The trick is in the design and tracking of legal pages — some designs & implementations will open your company up to risk and some won't, and this ebook will help you navigate the design best practices that could keep your company out of serious trouble.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the latest ruling in the EU over the Safe Harbor of customer data with the US.
Well, on October 6, 2015, the US-EU Safe Harbor was repealed by the highest court in the EU making it infinitely more difficult for business to carry on as normal when it comes to communications between the US and EU.
I missed a phone call from the car dealership while listening to a voicemail from my doctor’s office, got a calendar notification cancelling my morning coffee meeting, browsed a sale from a retail email, and accepted two friend requests all while walking into 7:00p.m. Zumba class.
More online searches and interactions are taking place on mobile devices now more than ever before.
These little moments between our everyday activities, found in Google's guide, "Winning the Shift to Mobile," are called micro-moments. They’re the “I-want-to-know,” “I-want-to-go,” “I-want-to-do,” “I-want-to-buy” moments that every marketer should know about. Because I already know that you’re thinking that managing any type of business legal isn’t the same as being a marketer, I’m going to save us some time and call a spade a spade by saying that your spade is wrong. You’re always a marketer. You market who you represent and you market yourself.
Because ain’t nobody else tryna.
Tracking hours in six-minute increments...old case files sitting wall to wall in an office...it’s 2015, so why does it feel like 1995?
Apparently, it is going to be a rude awakening, and not all lawyers are ready.
Our first edition of “8 user-friendly resources” highlighted online legal software that was pretty well-known. Maybe you haven’t used the previous tools yet, but with legal technology and innovation on the rise, there’s a chance you’ve heard of them.
Crazy as it sounds, there are even more apps and services out there just waiting to assist all contractual matters. From writing to signing to managing contracts. PactSafe knows how tedious that legal process can be and will be the first to tell you that it can and should be simplified!
Paper trails, drawn out document drafting, lost records, mullets, and cargo shorts are all on the out. (Sorry, dads!) Writing, signing, and managing contracts should not be as complicated as it is often made out to be. These useful online tools are all easy-to-use and take online contract management to new heights.
Starting a business? Already have one? Moving from paper to digital? Check out these websites and apps...soon!
You may remember a few months back when we asked you to see which social media network owned your soul. It is important to understand what you have agreed to on websites with differing standards when it comes to your information, privacy, and user-agreements.
While online privacy policies waver from readable to ridiculous, one sought-after company is doing its best to lead the industry with integrity. Get ready for all of the consumer-feels as we break down what Apple is up to.
Managing risk is not an easy feat in any company. One big decision can make or break an entire business' success. When considering entrepreneurship especially, you run the risk of overlooking key priorities that could leave a mess you don't want to deal with.
Familiarize yourself with the following start-up killers. Manage risk early and often!
Call of Duty, Jury Duty, Carpool Duty, Civic Duty...all things that garner very specific opinions from people…
But, what about The Duty of Loyalty? In corporate law, The Duty of Loyalty involves corporate directors having the legal responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest. The business comes before personal interest.
If you have a tech startup, whether you are selling specialty shoes or have a cool new SaaS product, you'll need a good Terms of Service for your website, product or app. Your Terms of Service should be like any other contract you would have with a customer — it should define the business and legal relationship between you and the customer. Here are 5 things that any Terms of Service should have.
In an industry that has always seemed pretty set in its ways, many will be happy to hear that the legal industry is gaining some flexibility. Whether you are a lawyer, teach law students, are in law school, develop legal software, work with lawyers, or are married to one, this article will get you excited about the ways legal is changing for the better.
The paradigm shift within legal is huge right now; innovation and simplification of everyday processes are being turned over to technology, law schools are implementing these practices early on, and lawyers are freaking out.
Earlier this year we wrote about the Safeway class action lawsuit, and how it is a perfect example of why updating / modifying your website terms and conditions should be done in a methodical way. To recap:
Since arriving at PactSafe headquarters, there have been multiple terms thrown out there leading me to stare blankly at our COO, Eric, and say, “Eric…I have no idea what that means…” Which is typically followed by a chuckle and a thorough explanation on what the heck is happening.
Often times, however, I’ve found that I know exactly what our PactSafe team is talking about — I just never knew any of these things had names!
While making this realization, I considered that some of our digital legal soldiers out there may be struggling with similar situations.
This article will act as a quick guide to digital legal terms and point you in the right direction for doing business online.
Lately, we have been encouraging lawyers and companies to check, double check, and re-check their privacy policies and terms of service to make sure they are enforceable.
And that is extremely vital when working to protect your interests while maintaining your reputation as an honest, trustworthy, customer-friendly company. (Have no clue what I’m talking about? Read it again!)
But rest assured, we have not forgotten the developers; the crux of the operation that make digital businesses a reality!
On the web, perception is reality.
Class actions are a major pain for big companies. In fact, a recent survey by Norton Rose Fullbright, polling more than 800 corporate counsel, revealed that class action lawsuits were the most important legal issue impacting their companies.
We take clickwraps pretty seriously here at PactSafe! And you should too! If you click on clickwraps as a consumer, you very likely are agreeing to become a part of a HumancentiPad. And if you are business with a clickwrap that sucks, well you may already be having super fun times in court.
In case you are just tuning in, PactSafe is fortunate to be participating in Acceleprise right now — an awesome accelerator based out of San Francisco focused on enterprise software, founded in 2014, and backed by a roster of great SaaS founders and executives. This accelerator goes above and beyond company dreams providing funding, mentorship, office space, access to potential investors and customers, and community support to promising early stage SaaS companies over a four-month program.
All too often, privacy policies and other online terms are thick, dense, and hard to understand for an average consumer. As consumers have grown more conscious of what they’re signing -- or clicking -- away, there’s been pressure on companies to make these terms more easy-to-digest.
For 100s of years they have been pretty much the same damned thing. You know, static, paper based contracts with handwritten signatures and lots and lots of words. Those words are obviously important - they detail things like :
For Immediate Release
Seed round led by Acceleprise SF, Elevate Ventures, Vulpes Testudo Fund, and private angels, intended to fuel growth and development of its Digital Legal Engine.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- (July 28, 2015) - PactSafe, the digital legal engine for the web, mobile, and the internet of things, today announced that it has raised $880,000 in seed funding from Acceleprise San Francisco, Elevate Ventures, Vulpes Testudo Fund, and a number of private angel investors, oversubscribing its planned $800,000 round. PactSafe will use the funds to enhance its product and further expand sales and marketing efforts. PactSafe has also joined Acceleprise SF's 3rd class of its San Francisco based enterprise SaaS (Software as a Service) accelerator program.
PactSafe is a digital legal engine that enables contracts of the web, mobile, and the internet of things to be smart and connected. The PactSafe widget and API connects legal contracts to all of a business’ online transactions, making it easy to manage those agreements while automating the record keeping process and providing advanced legal analytics. With PactSafe, businesses are able to more efficiently manage the legal risks associated with conducting business online while also achieving high levels of transparency with its customers.
“PactSafe is the first application that gives businesses and their legal teams control and visibility into the billions of legal transactions that occur everyday online when people click “I Agree,” said Brian Powers, CEO and founder of PactSafe. “Acceleprise SF, Elevate Ventures, Vulpes Testudo Fund, and our other investors share in our vision of becoming the standard businesses and consumers trust for their online legal transactions.”
With the investment from Acceleprise SF, PactSafe also becomes the first Indianapolis based company to join the San Francisco based accelerator. In addition to capital, Acceleprise provides San Francisco office space, access to world-class mentorship, and access to potential investors and customers, over an immersive 4-month program.
“We are very excited to have PactSafe join our latest cohort of SaaS companies,” said Michael Cardamone, Managing Director of Acceleprise SF. “It's clearly a large market, and PactSafe’s solution solves an obvious problem for many companies. The combination of Brian's legal background and the rest of the PactSafe team's software background is the perfect combination to take advantage of a massive opportunity.”
PactSafe is an Indianapolis based technology company. PactSafe has built the world's first digital legal engine powering the smart, connected contracts of the web, mobile, and the internet of things. The company’s advisory board includes leaders from LegalZoom, Salesforce, ZipRecruiter, and a former Amazon in-house counsel. The company has raised $880,000 in seed funding from Acceleprise SF, Elevate Ventures, Vulpes Testudo Fund, and is a member of Acceleprise’s San Francisco based enterprise SaaS accelerator program. For more information, visit www.pactsafe.com, or access the PactSafe press kit here.
About Acceleprise San Francisco
Acceleprise San Francisco is an enterprise software focused accelerator founded in 2014 backed by a roster of great SaaS founders and executives. Acceleprise San Francisco is the West Coast headquarters for Acceleprise, a leading enterprise accelerator started in Washington, D.C. Acceleprise San Francisco provides funding, mentorship, office space, access to potential investors and customers, and community support to promising early stage SaaS companies over a four-month program.
Contact: Amber Ferrari
Associate Marketing Manager
Startups are an amazing thing — it's never been easier to get to work in building & launching a SaaS (Software as a Service, cloud, whatever) product than it is today. Obviously, building a happy customer base and a sustainable business is something different altogether, but we won't cover that here.
Our world isn't static. Your online legal agreements aren't either. If you're working as an attorney that oversees this drafting process, you know that you're busy multiple times a year with revisions or updates that need to be published to keep your company protected and your consumers notified.
Whether your business sells a Saas product or plastic widgets, your sales people probably use some sort of paper order form to close plenty of deals. Even if you have attempted to move the entire sales process online, you likely still will have deals that close offline. As if contract management wasn't already difficult enough, the combination of online sales and offline sales make it much more difficult to keep track of things. However, with a little planning (and of course the right tools), you can not only make this process easier to manage, you can also streamline your entire sales process.
This week at PactSafe, we have added tables, chairs, more desks, monitors, and walls of whiteboards to our space. You can now sit in almost every room! We also added Director of Business Development Jason Everhart to our team. Being pretty fresh to the world of PactSafe myself, I asked Jason these questions to help everyone get to know him a little better.
Browsewrap agreements aren't the only type of online legal agreement that could bring you trouble online.
We here at PactSafe are having an awesome time as we build our business — we're experiencing great growth, filling out our new office space, and hiring some awesome people! As a young company, we were thrilled and honored to be included in the Orr Fellowship program and bring our first ever Orr Fellow on board, Amber Ferrari. She just started this week and I asked her to share a little bit more about herself. She was kind enough to answer the questions below.
For Guardian reporter Alex Hern, thinking about all the small print on the Internet made him want to die... so he took seven days to read 146,000 words of various companies’ Terms of Service, and the result? It made him want to die even more.
If you've followed our blog at all, you already know that using a browsewrap agreement to bind consumers to terms on your website isn't the best practice for organizations looking to keep legal risk away. But we often receive the question -- well, isn't everyone else doing it? Sure, we knew there were some sites or companies that weren't overly concerned with protecting legal risk and were much more concerned with the "user experience" or the "aesthetic value" of the page. (We'll put those in quotation marks -- because it's plenty easy to preserve both while providing the user more-than-adequate notice.)
We write a ton on this blog about clickwrap best practices, but we rarely highlight the awesomely-most-likely-enforceable clickwraps we see. Starting today, we'll periodically be giving some love to websites that are doing it right!
As someone who's grown up living and breathing technology, there are very few pieces of personal data I put out on the internet that I care about keeping to myself. I've embraced the oversharing — but there are quite a few things that Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Twitter know about me that still make me a bit anxious were they to get out there publicly or fall into the wrong hands.
If your website employs a Clickwrap agreement, there are a number of practices you should follow to make sure that agreement is enforceable should you ever need to enforce it. Your clickwrap agreement is there for a reason - and is likely intended to provide all sorts of legal protections for your website / business (disclaimers, limitations on liability, binding arbitration…lots of stuff…talk to your lawyer!) – but if its not enforceable then it does you no good at all. Below are some of the best practices we have found:
An amazing report from Pew Research Center was recently released that cut to the core of some of the real privacy concerns of consumers today. One of the amazing stats revealed that "69% of adults say they are not confident that records of their activity maintained by the social media sites they use will remain private and secure." We decided to dive into the privacy policies of some social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. What we found might surprise you. It also might not if you're in the 69% who are skeptical of social media privacy in general.
Don’t get caught trying to pull a “fast one” on your users or customers.
If your website employs a browsewrap website legal agreement, there are a number of practices you should follow to make sure that agreement is enforceable should you ever need to enforce it. Typically, browsewrap website legal agreements are intended to provide all sorts of legal protections for your website / business (disclaimers, limitations on liability, binding arbitration...lots of stuff...talk to your lawyer!) - but if its not enforceable then it does you no good at all. Below are some of the best practices we have found based on scouring millions (well maybe not millions) of pages of case law on the subject.
When a user visits a website or uses the services provided by a website, that visit or use if typically governed by a set of website legal agreements, one of which is commonly referred to as a “Terms of Service.” Since these agreements defy the conventional manner in which contracts presented and accepted, the enforceability of these contracts is often misunderstood and challenged in courts.
It's been a long, crazy ride over the last 3 months since we launched, but needless to say we are incredibly excited about the vision of the Digital Legal Engine and where our software is going. We've grown our incredible team to 4 people with the experience in law, sales, product, and engineering to scale our business to the next level.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Technology Allows Lawyers to Manage Digital Legal Agreements Securely and Effectively
INDIANAPOLIS and CHARLOTTE, NC – May 5, 2015 – Indianapolis-based software company PactSafe, Inc. (www.pactsafe.com) announced today that Charlotte-based Fenner’s Law is using PactSafe™ technology to establish digital legal agreements with its clients. For Fenner’s Law, the key to delivering legal services online was the ability to obtain a valid online retainer agreement that had been read before their clients clicked their assent. This capability enables Fenner’s to successfully offer its legal services online and become competitive with other online service providers.
Traditional Contracting and Recordkeeping
The contract. Something that has been used to memorialize agreements between 2 or more parties since the beginning of time (well maybe not that long). Most people know, whether a lawyer tells them or not, that in order for a contract to have any meaning:
Secure record keeping is critical to the health of your online business.
What does it mean to be “secure”?
PactSafe is based in Indianapolis, Indiana; which despite the NCAA Final Four arriving in town this weekend, is not the most popular place to be thanks to the actions of some very short sighted people in our state legislature and, of course, our single-term governor Mike Pence. SB101 / RFRA was an ill-conceived piece of unnecessary legislation at best, and at worst it was part of an agenda driven by intolerance - a principle that not a single Hoosier I know adheres to.
I've spent nearly my entire life in Indiana. I left twice for college education, and returned both times to start a family and build multiple business ventures here. I've rarely witnessed acts of discrimination here by businesses, and certainly no more frequently than anywhere else. That's part of why I'm here - and why Pactsafe is here - its a great place to live, with great people, and an awesome place to build a business.
SB101 / RFRA does not represent the people or businesses of Indiana - at least not the ones I know. Its bad for Indiana's people, its reputation and its business community.
PactSafe is opposed to SB101/RFRA and is committed to promoting diversity among our team and our customers. We will never, ever, discriminate against anyone for any reason. Despite this moronic piece of legislation, I'm pretty sure most Indiana businesses feel the same way.
CEO, PactSafe, Inc.
Website legal agreements, such as Term of Use or Terms of Service, typically need to be revised and updated from time to time. Often times, a website operator will simply publish a change to those terms without thinking through the update process. This can lead to disaster - i.e. - to the updated terms being unenforceable. Not good.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Experienced Business Developer Joins Software Startup to Manage Operations, Strategy, Client Support and Marketing
Think click wrap agreements are enforceable by just slapping some legal terms into a form? Think again!
We've covered clickwrap best practices on this blog before, and covered lots of cases where good clickwrap agreements have been found enforceable. A recent decision published in Illinois Federal Court illustrates just how tricky it can be to create a clickwrap agreement that will hold up in court (and if it doesn't hold up in court - what good is it?)
We are excited and honored to be nominated for not one, but TWO 2015 TechPoint Mira Awards: Tech Innovation of the Year and Tech StartUp of the Year. Sweet!
PactSafe™ Launches Today – New Cloud-based Software Effectively Manages, Tracks, Deploys and Enforces Digital Legal Agreements
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PactSafe™ Launches Today – New Cloud-based Software Effectively Manages, Tracks, Deploys and Enforces Digital Legal Agreements
A recent case in Wisconsin Federal Court illustrates perfectly the importance of properly tracking and managing website legal agreements.
Once again, a court has held ruled that burying the link to a browsewrap agreement (in this case Terms and Conditions) in the footer of a website is an excellent way to render that browsewrap agreement meaningless and unenforceable. The ruling comes from the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. The website in questions is Job.com, a website for job-seekers and employers. Job.com, as part of its case, tries to enforce the browsewrap Terms and Conditions to assert a breach of contract claim.
There has been little guidance since the Zappo’s opinion back in 2012 regarding the validity of browsewrap and clickwrap agreements and the elements necessary for these agreements to be upheld. Just recently, however, the Northern District of California decided a class action case between the plaintiffs (Tompkins) and the defendants being a personal genetics company, 23andMe, who filed a motion to compel arbitration. The court held that the customers must go through arbitration because 23andMe’s clickwrap agreement containing the terms of service (which included an arbitration provision) was accepted when the customers created accounts or registered their DNA kits with 23andMe. Additionally, the court found that 23andMe‘s browsewrap terms of service agreement did not bind website visitors or customers who only purchased a DNA kit without creating an account or registering a kit.
One way of forming a contract between a website and its users is the so-called "clickwrap" agreement, in which website users manifest their acceptance of the contract by clicking a button or checking a box that states "I agree" or something similar after being presented an agreement. Clicking on a webpage's clickwrap button after receiving notice of the existence of license terms has been held by some courts to manifest an Internet user's assent to terms governing the use of downloadable intangible software.
Modifications of website legal agreements present some complications to the maxim that modifying a contract requires the consent of all parties to the contract. It has been generally accepted that a contract is not enforceable when one party unilaterally changes the terms of a contract or agreement, unless the other party consents before doing so. A common practice is to specify in a website legal agreement that the website owner may modify the agreement at any time, and that continued use of the site constitutes a user’s acceptance of any modifications to the agreement.
One of the most prominent cases that relates to the enforceability of a browsewrap agreement is the Zappos.com, Inc. customer data security breach case. The Zappos case resulted from hackers who breached the Zappos.com security and were able to the access the personal information of the sites customers who had completed purchases from the website. The security breach exposed names, addresses, and phone numbers of the customers. The customers of Zappos.com then brought a class action lawsuit for damages that were a result from the data breach.
Over the past week, General Mills, one of the largest food companies in the US, made a controversial update to its website legal terms that purported to prevent its consumers from suing it (rather requiring them to submit disputes via "informal negotiation" or arbitration). After the NY Times published a series of articles about the change, General Mills pulled the new terms due to concerns and misunderstandings expressed by many consumers. The new website legal terms posted by General Mills supposedly were intended to apply to consumers downloading coupons, “joining its online communities,” participating in sweepstakes and other promotions, and interacting with General Mills in a variety of other ways online. General Mills employed a pop-up box on its home page, stating that use of the site would “require all disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service to be resolved through binding arbitration.” [FYI - Companies like to require arbitration as a means for settling disputes as a means of preventing class action lawsuits]
One way of forming a contract between a website (or more precisely, the owner of the website) and its users is the so-called clickwrap agreement, in which website users manifest their acceptance of the contract by clicking a button or checking a box that states "I agree" (or something similar) after being presented with the website legal agreement. Clickwrap agreements derive their name by analogy to old-school "shrinkwrap" agreements used to license tangible forms of software sold in shrink wrapped packages. Just as breaking the shrinkwrap seal and using the enclosed computer program after encountering notice of the existence of governing license terms has been deemed by some courts to constitute assent to those terms in the context of tangible software, clicking on a webpage's clickwrap button after receiving notice of the existence of license terms has been held by courts to manifest an Internet user's acceptance of those terms.
PactSafe is redefining the way website legal agreements are implemented on sites, managed by site owners...and lots more. During our initial development, and continuing on after our launch, we'll be blogging here about lots of stuff, including: