Terms of Use

The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) now will require businesses seeking to use AAA’s services for consumer arbitrations to submit their arbitration clauses for AAA’s review and approval.  Approved clauses will become part of the AAA’s “Consumer Clause Registry,” which “will contain a list of businesses that have submitted their consumer arbitration clauses [to]

On Tuesday, 19 November, the Regional Court of Berlin ruled against Google in a case brought by the Federation of German Consumer Associations (vzbv).  The vzbv had initiated an action for injunction against Google, requesting it to stop using certain clauses in its Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.  In Germany, consumer associations have a right to bring legal proceedings against companies that engage in commercial practices which are illegal under the Act Against Unfair Competition.

The court sided entirely with the plaintiff and ruled that Google must refrain from using the relevant (and similar) clauses in agreements with consumers in Germany. If Google breaches this prohibition monetary penalties of up to €250,000 or imprisonment of up to six months can be imposed (to be enforced against Google’s legal representatives).

The court’s reasoning is not yet available, but according to press reports the court considered the relevant clauses to be overly vague and broad and to restrict the rights of consumers. The vzbv had argued that users were “unreasonably disadvantaged.”  The court’s press release lists all the relevant clauses which the court considered to be illegal.  We break these down after the jump.  Continue Reading Berlin Court Condemns Google, Strikes Provisions in Privacy Policy and Terms

Denying the motion of the defendant internet service provider, Clearwire, to compel arbitration, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held last week that Clearwire’s e-mail confirmation to the plaintiffs was inadequate notice of the terms of service.  This e-mail confirmation included, on the third page of the e-mail, a link to Clearwire’s home page rather than