Ninth Circuit Opinion Confirms That Websites Should Probably Have Clickwrap Agreements To Bind Their Customers

Written by Keenan W. Ng

Recently, the Ninth Circuit in Nguyen v. Barnes &Noble, Inc. held that “where a website makes its terms of use available via a conspicuous hyperlink on every page of the website but otherwise provides no notice to users nor prompts them to take any affirmative action to demonstrate assent, even close proximity of the hyperlink to relevant buttons users must click on—without more—is insufficient to give rise to constructive notice.”

In 2011, plaintiff purchased two Hewlett-Packard Touchpads from the Barnes & Noble website during a fire sale. Unfortunately, despite receiving a confirming email of his purchase, plaintiff’s order was cancelled due to high demand. Plaintiff filed suit alleging he had to purchase another tablet at a higher price. Defendant argued that plaintiff must arbitrate the matter per the browsewrap terms of use agreement.

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