Primer on the Legal Aspects of Website Contracts – An Outline for Lawyers

With respect to web site development, maintenance and contract terms, the following topics are relevant to our client’s web-based businesses.

A.    Domain Names:
Trademark Search – clearance for domain names
Trademark Registration (Federal) to guarantee domain name ownership and control
Domain Disputes (UDRP actions) and Cybersquatting Federal Court Litigation

B.    Contract Matters:
(passive site – only informational OR interactive site – sell items, chat rooms)
Terms of Service – Visitors; Subscribers; Vendors; Advertisers
Click-on Contract Approval
I.P. rights, Confidential data policy, Disclaimers: Data input, back-up,
processing errors, data correction and reporting
Copyright Infringement – DMCA Notice – Takedown Demands
Limit liability (e.g., limited to all fees paid in last 90 days)
Privacy Policy
Advertiser – Sponsored Link Agreement
Web site Developer Agreement, who owns I.P., domain ownership

C.    Copyright:
Get a copyright assignment from the website developer transferring rights to the website owner; registration for web content (images, text); Copyright Clearance Opinions

D.    Keyword Advertising; Sponsored Link Ad Content
Trademark; False Advertising, Comparative Advertising; Unfair Competition Suits

This outline was presented by Robert Kain at a speech before the Broward County Bar, Small Firm meeting in March, 2010.  Please note that each website is different and the risks associated with the operation of each website should be identified and then dealt with by contract or other I.P. registration or notice.

We are a full service I.P. law firm.  We limit our practice to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, computer law and the related fields of domain disputes, trade dress, false advertising, trade libel, defamation, unfair competition and Internet law matters. We register rights and litigate I.P. matters throughout the U.S. and use foreign associate law firms for non-U.S. based disputes.

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