Protecting Your Interests While You Grow Your Business Through E-Commerce
Conducting business on the Internet, whether through your own website or some other means, has the potential to be an effective and lucrative endeavor. However, there are risks associated with conducting business online, such as the possibility of being a victim of cyber piracy, having your data stolen, having your copyright violated, or having your brand stolen. It is imperative that you have a lawyer on your side who is familiar with the procedures that need to be carried out in order to protect your interests while assisting you in growing your business if you plan on beginning or expanding your company’s operations into the realm of e-commerce. Businesses that conduct their operations online are subject to a unique set of laws and regulations, which dictates the manner in which they are expected to conduct themselves within the context of the internet.
We work with clients to establish E-Commerce practices that account for:
- Formation of online contracts.
- Using trademark and copyright protected material on websites and social media.
- Collection and handling of personal information.
- Enforceability of clickwrap agreements.
We work together with our clients to produce internet operational documents such as:
- Website privacy policies.
- Contracts in an electronic format, such as clickwrap agreements and other varieties.
- The terms and conditions that apply to visitors to the website.
- Guidelines and policies for use of the website
- Guidelines and etiquette for participating in an online discussion forum
Internet / E-commerce Services Provided
Our Arizona Internet and E-Commerce lawyers assist clients in resolving legal matters pertaining to use of the internet for advertising and operating a small business. Although our firm’s headquarters are located in Phoenix, we serve clients throughout the entire state, including Tucson. Moreover, our Arizona Internet and E-Commerce Lawyers assist small businesses in the surrounding Phoenix and Tucson areas with Internet and E-Commerce disputes involving their commercial use of websites, email, and social media. We assist clients with:
- Online advertising compliance. State and federal laws establish strict online advertising guidelines governing the who, what, when, where, and how aspects of your digital advertising. E‐commerce businesses must abide by these laws, regardless of their size. These rules affect your online advertisements, robo-calls, text messages, emails, newsletters, and any other internet advertising your company uses.
- The state and the federal governments have both enacted laws that protect the privacy of internet users and impose severe consequences for those who violate these rules. Establishing, putting into action, and adhering to rules and procedures that are utilized to protect user data are all critical steps. Detailed user agreements and terms of service must also contain these provisions in order to be valid. If you are able to demonstrate that you have taken reasonable precautions to safeguard the personal information of your customers in the event that your online store suffers a data breach, you will significantly reduce the risk of being subject to legal action if an adverse situation occurs.
- Domain name selection, registration, and maintenance. The domain name for your business serves as an online location and is an IP asset. Domain names can infringe upon another’s trademark or brand name. Before registration, domain and trademark clearance searches should be performed to prevent intellectual property disputes. Once cleared, registration practices and protections should be followed to avoid ownership issues and security concerns.
- E‐commerce businesses require contracts with their website providers. Website development agreements identifying the services provided by the website developer, cost, payment terms, who owns the website, warranties, acceptance testing, developer indemnities, limitations on liabilities, and privacy and data security provisions.
Our Arizona Internet and E-Commerce attorneys provide legal counsel to small business clients located in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, and Tempe on matters pertaining to use of the internet for advertising and operating a small business.
Internet / E-Commerce Contracts / Agreements
Our firm has drafted and reviewed numerous types of Internet / E-Commerce contracts / agreements including:
- Website e-Commerce agreements providing a business with protections and limiting liabilities associated with use of third-party services.
- Website development agreements identifying the services provided by the website developer, who owns the website, warranties, acceptance testing, developer indemnities, and limitations on liabilities.
- Application Service Provider Agreements outsourcing hosting and support for a software application.
- Cloud Computing Agreements providing businesses with computing services (including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence) over the Internet.
- Database Subscription Agreements providing businesses with access to information and data.
- IT Consulting and Services Agreements engaging an IT consultant with expertise in a specific field of information technology.
- OEM and VAR Agreements supporting acquisition of components of products from one or more companies to build one product sold under the company’s own name.
- Software as a Service Agreements detailing the provision and delivery of software services to customers through the internet.
- Source Code Escrow Agreements permitting an independent specialist to hold and test a copy of application source code to make sure it is accurate, complete and can be compiled independently if vendor failure occurs.
- Systems Integration Agreements used to acquire, develop and integrate hardware and software necessary to produce an entire computer system.
- Technology Licensing Agreements granting a business the right to produce and sell goods, apply a brand name or trademark, or use patented technology owned by another.
- Technology Maintenance and Technical Support Agreements obligating a software vendor to provide technical support and updates for their existing software product.
- Terms of Service determine the characteristics of a service, its boundaries, and its boundaries’ limits, as well as the regulations that users of the service must agree to obey.
- Website Development and Hosting Agreements defining the services to be provided by the web host including domain name registration, content management, backup and data recovery services, Internet connection management, server maintenance, and promotional obligations.
A further discussion of each of these internet / e-Commerce contracts is provided in the Contracts Section of the Blog.
Internet / E-Commerce Regulatory Compliance
Our firm has advised clients on compliance with numerous types of federal and state Internet / E-Commerce regulations including:
- The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act rules governing misleading information in commercial emails for which the purpose is advertisement or promotion.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines regarding endorsements, testimonials and other web or social media content that may be deemed an endorsement.
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rules governing marketing copy and business models involving the dissemination of consumer records.
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules limiting unsolicited prerecorded telemarketing calls and text messages.
- The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules governing information collected from children online.
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) rules governing copyrights and the internet.
- The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act(UETA) rules governing electronic commerce transactions.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules governing online trademark infringement, online copyright infringement, false advertising and unfair competition.
A further discussion of each of these E-Commerce regulations is provided in the Regulations Compliance Section of the Blog.
Internet E-Commerce Dispute Representation
Our firm has represented clients in numerous types of internet e-commerce disputes including:
- Breach of privacy rights disputes arising when an individual alleges a business failed to notify them they were collecting, using, or selling their personally identifiable information.
- Data Breach issues stem from a claim that the company did not take necessary data security measures, which resulted in the personal information of the plaintiffs being susceptible to unauthorized access.
- Cybersquatting disputes resulting from an individual registering a domain name that infringes on the business identity and goodwill of another company.
- Marketing violation disputes involving the use of deceptive trade practices, such as using fraud to gain clients.
- Online use of copyrighted material disputes resulting from posting copyrighted material without the owner’s permission.
- Computer Fraud and Abuse disputes resulting from unauthorized access or damage to a computer.
A further discussion of each of these Internet e-Commerce disputes is provided in the Dispute Resolution Section of the Blog.
Contacting The Calhoun Law Firm, PLC
If our capabilities match your needs, we invite you to contact us today by one of these means:
- Call us at 877-455-6344 to evaluate our capabilities to address your situation.
- Submit an inquiry via our Contact Us Form to brief your situation and needs.
- Schedule a 45-minute legal Consultation via our client portal to review your situation and potential approaches by which your objectives can be met.
Our Internet and E-Commerce Attorneys are experts in handling the legal matters that Phoenix and Tucson area clients address during the use of the internet for advertising and operating a small business. Moreover, our Internet and E-Commerce Lawyers assist clients with internet and e-commerce disputes involving their commercial use of websites, email, and social media. Small businesses operating in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, and Tempe, as well as residents of other adjacent communities, are regular recipients of legal counsel and representation from our firm.