New court ruling reaffirms that clickwraps can serve multiple purposes

Nov 12, 2015 9:30:00 AM

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. 

A checkbox is the manifestation of assent of the future — and that was reaffirmed in court last week.

Ranazzi v. Amazon begins just like many cases involving terms of service and clickwrap agreements — with a plaintiff attempting to subvert an arbitration clause embedded into the terms. Here, the plaintiff's legal team calls into question the notice given by Intuit and Amazon.

Both sites used a hyperlink to access the terms page. The plaintiff claims this required too many "screens of clicking" to properly reach and review the arbitration clause. Predictably, the Ohio Court of Appeals finds this logic to be flawed — hyperlinks, when displayed properly, have long been considered to put users on notice. However, the wording of the decision gives even more legal backing to clickwrap agreements as smart contracts continue to evolve in the 21st century. Leaning on logic from  Hancock v. Am. Tel. and Tel. Co, Inc., 701 F.3d 1248, 1256 (10th Cir. 2012), the court proclaims:

"Multiple courts have held that clicking is an acceptable method to manifest assent to the terms of an agreement."

There's no reason to think that courts wouldn't have upheld another use of a clickwrap previously, but this should only be more assurance that you won't have any problems with enforceability when using a true, digital agreement process.

Don't know where you'd implement a clickwrap outside of terms of service? Here's 3 non-traditional ideas where we've seen clickable agreements work wonders.

1. HR & employee onboarding. Think of all the papers that a new hire needs to sign and initial prior to coming onto your team. Many of these agreements, such as workplace policies and other disclosures, won't change from employee to employee. A clickwrap-style digital agreement allows employees to quickly and easily move through the onboarding process and provides your HR administrators with instant, easy-to-track records of who has and hasn't agreed to updated policies. 

2. Vendor management. Does your company work with a number of vendors, many of which have to agree to a fairly standard set of terms? Clickable agreements make it cheap, quick, and easy for them to follow a link and enroll into your system.

3. Contractors. Contractors and sub-contractors know the amount of paper-shuffling, form contracts and signatures that must be in place before business can begin. Imagine all of those agreements existing on a single webpage not only made accessible to participating parties, but also easily completed and fully tracked and monitored with just a few clicks?

Terms or not, PactSafe provides the peace of mind you need when implementing a clickable agreement. Let's talk today.

 

Kyle Robbins

Written by Kyle Robbins