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Electronic Agreements and Breach of Contract in New York: Defining the Terms


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1/1/2016
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In today’s technology-driven world, more and more agreements are being ironed out electronically. These contracts can be breached in much the same way that handwritten contracts are. If the terms of the agreement are defined, the parties must fulfill their obligations or face a potential breach of contract claim. For example, Apple recently faced a class action lawsuit brought by users of its iTunes service. The lawsuit centers around the company’s electronic Terms of Service Agreement. Consumers must accept the terms of this Agreement in order to purchase and download songs from the iTunes service.

Just like any other New York breach of contract action involving the sale of goods, the plaintiffs would have to prove the following in order to succeed in their lawsuit:

  • The Terms of Service Agreement constituted an enforceable agreement.
  • The Terms of Service Agreement defines the quantity of songs which are purchased in a transaction.
  • The Terms of Service Agreement outlines the prince of the songs.
  • The Terms of Service Agreement explains the time and manner of delivery of the songs.
  • Apple breached the Terms of Service Agreement by failing to fulfill its obligations under the contract.

Even if the Terms of Service Agreement did not cover all of the items outlined above, email communications between the company and the consumer can be used to complete the missing information. A New York Federal Court has held that an email that confirms the agreement of the parties can be used to fill in the gaps. To learn more about breach of contract claims in the technology era, contact an experienced New York breach of contract lawyer today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation.



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