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E-Commerce Dispute Solicitors
If you are involved in an e-commerce dispute of any kind, the dedicated team of e-commerce solicitors at JMW is here to help. We have specialist experience in handling the full range of e-commerce disputes, and can provide you with the expert advice you need.
E-commerce disputes have risen dramatically in number in recent years due to the amount of transactions now made online, including disagreements over domain names or purchases. The commercial litigation team at JMW Solicitors works with clients from all business sectors to resolve these disputes with as little disruption as possible.
How JMW Can Help
Our e-commerce disputes team has experience representing clients across a range of industries in both regional and national courts, dealing with a variety of claims specific to online business. This includes disputes pertaining to:
- Abusive registrations and cybersquatting
- Damage to an online company’s reputation
- Disagreements on goods sold to someone in another country
- Failure to comply with an e-commerce agreement
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) company disputes
- Website infringement
- Web-hosting agreements
- Web designer disputes
Additionally, we have acted on cases in which we have been required to protect the setup of a new website, we have also helped existing websites deal with challenges to their reputation. As such, we will be able to bring significant industry expertise to the handling of your case.
What are abusive registrations and cybersquatting?
A domain name or web address is a vital asset to any e-commerce business, and therefore needs to be properly protected. When a domain name is registered purely to take unfair advantage of a company’s rights, or to profit from the goodwill of a trademark they do not own, this is referred to as an abusive registration, or cybersquatting.
In some cases, these can be resolved by bringing a complaint to a relevant industry body, such as Nominet or the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). However, this can be a time-consuming process, and the cost to a business for each minute that their domain is under attack means a speedier legal response may be warranted.
In these cases, it is best to speak to an e-commerce solicitor with experience in handling domain disputes, abusive registrations and cybersquatting cases.
What is website infringement?
As the value of a domain increases, so does the temptation for competitors to copy parts of the site. Website infringement cases arise when companies discover a rival who has:
- Attempted to replicate the look and feel of their website
- Plagiarised wording, images or other material
- Copied terms and conditions, privacy policies or other contractual agreements
These activities are designed to take traffic from one website and drive it to a competitor and could constitute trademark infringement or copyright infringement. If this occurs, it is best to seek legal advice from a solicitor with online business expertise.
How do web-hosting agreement disputes work?
Most e-commerce companies require assistance from a third party to host their website, putting the security and visibility of that site in the hands of the web-hosting company. If this responsibility is abused or treated carelessly, this can cause significant problems for the business in question.
Complaints relating to web-hosting agreements include threats to destroy or disable a website, or claims for business interruption or loss of service. A specialist e-commerce solicitor can help to resolve these cases.
How do search engine optimisation (SEO) company disputes work?
Many e-commerce businesses enter into agreements with companies specialising in SEO to assist with their online ranking.
How do web designer disputes work?
E-commerce companies looking to establish an online presence often sign a contract with a website designer or builder. These agreements generally specify key objectives, milestones and timescales for the design, build and improvement of a website. Breaching the terms of the contract can cause issues such as:
- A delay or interruption in trading activity
- A delay to the launch date of the website
- Reputational damage due to a substandard or absent website
- Loss of business due to poor functionality
If you feel that a web designer has failed to honour the terms of an agreement, they may be in breach of contract. In these cases, you should contact a solicitor with e-commerce expertise to see whether legal action will be needed to protect your business.
Partner and Head of Department
Commercial Litigation/Corporate Recovery and Insolvency