Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble
Those interested in the validity of electronically-formed contracts will take note of this week’s opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble. In the case, the court found unenforceable the so-called “browse-wrap” terms of service found on the website of national bookseller Barnes & Noble.
In August 2011, Barnes & Noble liquidated its inventory of discontinued Hewlett Packard Touchpads by advertising a “fire sale” on its website. Kevin Nguyen acted quickly and purchased two of those Touchpads. He received an email confirming the transaction. The next day he received an email telling him that his order had been canceled. He sued Barnes & Noble in California on behalf of himself and a putative class of consumers whose orders had been canceled, alleging deceptive business practices.
According to the court:
Lesson to web developers.