E-commerce Disputes

The number of ecommerce disputes have risen dramatically over the past few years, due to the sheer number of retail stores and other businesses who now operate online.

If you are involved in an ecommerce dispute of any kind, whether there have been disagreements over domain names or you are an unhappy customer trying to claim money back for a purchase, we can help.

Talk to JMW Solicitors now on 0345 872 6666 to find out more, or fill in our contact form and someone will be in touch.

Ecommerce disputes in more detail

Ecommerce disputes are on the rise for a variety of reasons:

1.   it is now essential to have an online presence.

2.   Your website is your shop window to the world, and therefore it is crucial to protect your online reputation.

3.   Your website can be viewed on a global scale, meaning you can trade with people all over the world.

4.   It is a unique feature that many ecommerce agreements are based on trust because the parties rarely meet face to face.

At JMW Solicitors we have a dedicated team with specialist experience in handling the full range of ecommerce disputes.

Website disputes – Abusive Registrations and Cybersquatting

A domain name is a vital asset to any ecommerce business and should be protected. We have seen a large increase in cases of:

  • Domain name disputes;
  • Abusive registrations; and
  • Cybersquatting. 

Whilst some complaints can be made to Nominet or the WIPO, the cost to your business for each minute that your domain name is under attack means that speed of response is often crucial. Our ecommerce team has experience in both regional and national courts, acting for clients across a range of industries and dealing with a range of claims specific to your website.

Website infringement

As the value of a domain name increases, so does the temptation for competitors to copy parts of your website. You may be faced with a competitor who:

  • Attempts to use the “look and feel” of your website;
  • Copies wording, photographs or other material from your website; or
  • Copies terms and conditions, privacy policy or other contractual agreements.

These activities could be:

  • Trade Mark Infringement
  • Copyright Infringement or
  • Passing Off

These steps are all designed to take traffic from your website and drive it to a competitor. Our ecommerce team has acted on a range of disputes where we have been required to either protect our client’s website, or alternatively, where our clients have faced challenges to its existing website.

Web-hosting agreements

Most ecommerce companies require the assistance of a third party to host its website.  Inevitably, the security and visibility of that website is in the hands of the web hosting company. We have dealt with a wide range of complaints between ecommerce business and web hosting companies, including:

  • Business interruption claims;
  • Loss/lack of service claims; and
  • Threats to destroy or disable websites.

Disputes with SEO companies

Many ecommerce businesses enter into agreements with companies specialising in search engine optimisation to assist with their online ranking. Disputes can arise where:

  • The SEO company fails to achieve the promised results;
  • The SEO company achieves short term gains, but no long term traction for your website; or
  • The SEO company fails to operate in accordance with the search engines terms of use, causing your website to be penalised and downgraded as a result.

Disputes with web designers

Most ecommerce businesses will enter into a contract with a website designer or website builder when establishing an online presence.

Contracts with web designers will generally specify key objectives, milestones and timescales for the completion of the design, build or improvement of a website or other online outlet. It is vitally important that web designers do not breach the terms of the contract that you agree with them as it can cause the following issues:

  • A delay or interruption in trading activity;
  • A delay of the launch date of the website;
  • Reputational damage due to a sub-standard or absent website; or
  • Loss of business due to poor functionality.

If you feel that a web designer has failed to honour the agreed terms upon which you contracted with them, they may be in breach of contract. Taking immediate action to rectify this is vitally important to any ecommerce business.

JMW Solicitors has a team of solicitors specialising in e-commerce disputes who will be able to advise you on your options. If you would like to discuss what to do next you can contact us on 0345 872 6666.

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