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Thumbs Up

The infamous thumbs up emoji, designating agreement to all of life’s important questions, such as, “Did you get my email?” or “Pizza tonight?” or “Concert at 8?”

A Canadian Court has ruled the thumbs up emoji can have the same effect as a signature on a contract. The case: a buyer advertised and spoke to a farmer about his need for grain.  The buyer sent the farmer a text with a picture of the contract outlining the terms and conditions for the sale of grain. In response, the farmer sent a thumbs up emoji.  The farmer failed to deliver the grain.  The buyer took him to court claiming that the farmer’s emoji response constituted agreement with the terms and conditions of the contract. The farmer argued that his emoji response was merely confirmation that he had received the contract via text, not that he agreed to it. The Canadian judge ruled that the thumbs up emoji was just as valid as a signature and ordered the farmer to pay C$82,000 for the unfulfillment of the contract. The judge stated that the Courts needed to adapt to the new ways that people are communicating.

Would this argument fly in American Courts? Will the same legal interpretation be used for other emojis like the fist bump or the OK symbol? The contract attorneys at Leonard Sciolla are here to help guide you on the ever-evolving world of contract law. If you are in need of an attorney, give us a call at (215) 567-1530.

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