Litigation – Digital Matters
Our team has developed a specific expertise when it comes to litigation in digital related matters.
When cases so require, we work closely with the firm’s Digital & Intellectual Property team in order to provide our clients with a comprehensive cross-sectional approach.
Liability of digital platforms
The Litigation team deals with the liability of providers of online public communication services.
We assist our clients and cover all their needs in this area on the French territory in order to:
- ensure that they comply with European Union and French regulations,
- respond to notifications from users or industry regulators, and
- assist them in any related judicial or administrative proceedings.
We are therefore involved in all types of cases, including:
- requests for removal of online content (notifications made under the Law on confidence in the digital economy known as “LCEN”);
- civil and criminal liability of providers of online public communication services;
- requests for communication of data;
- ensuring compliance of mandatory information, platform functionalities, and procedures for controlling and monitoring published content;
- requests to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites;
- relations with the French administrative authorities (ARCOM, DGCCRF, CNIL, etc.);
- lobbying to promote the regulation of providers of online public communication services.
Examples of cases:
- Counsel to several digital platforms operated by foreign companies in proceedings against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites on French territory (including the filing of a priority preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality – question prioritaire de constitutionnalité);
- Counsel to a US company operating an online public communication service specialising in agile experience management and enterprise solutions to gather market intelligence, including surveys;
- Counsel to an American company operating a digital platform accessible in France that publishes participatory reviews and ratings of local businesses;
- Counsel to a Danish company operating an online public communication service hosting consumer reviews.
- “Alert on the liability of marketplaces” on the decision of the French Cour de Cassation (highest court of the French judicial system) of June 1st, 2022 denying the status of host to the company Ticketbis and qualifying it as a publisher, July 2022;
- “Online platforms: France is ahead of the EU”, Revue Expertises des Systèmes d’information, April 2022;
- “Free Speech on Social Media: Are the United States and France Drifting Apart or Closer Together”, speech and organization of the Conference with New York Law School, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the French American Bar Association, 2021.
The Litigation team is involved in all disputes relating to IT law.
We assist our clients where disputes arise between parties bound by an IT contract, whether they are IT service providers (software publishers), IT consulting companies (ESN), access or hosting providers, etc.) or their clients, at any stage during the term of such contract:
- breaking-off of pre-contractual negotiations;
- breaches of the duty to inform during the pre-contractual phase;
- disputes relating to the formation of the contract and defects of consent;
- disputes relating to the performance of the contract (breaches of the obligation to deliver, to accept and of the acceptance procedure, delays in performance, enforcement of legal and contractual guarantees, deviation from the AGILE method, etc.);
- remedies in case of non-performance or improper performance of the IT contract (defence of non-performance (exception d’inexécution), enforced performance in kind, price reduction, termination of the contract, etc.);
- early termination of the IT contract (restitution, compensation for the harm suffered, issues related to abuse of technological dependency, etc.).
Examples of cases:
- Counsel to a French company in a dispute arising from the early termination of an IT contract with the company in charge of the integration of a CRM tool developed by a US company;
- Counsel to a European association in a dispute against a software company concerning the poor performance of a contract for the development of a new IT tool for logistics management intended to be used by all the members of the association;
- Counsel to a company having developed a SAAS (Software As A Service) pricing solution in a dispute against the company acting as DOIS (Director of Organisation and Information Systems) of a major European retailer, following the wrongful termination of their contract;
- Counsel to a start-up up developing an electric quadricycle vehicle with removable batteries intended for car-sharing operators, in a dispute with an international player in automotive and aeronautical engineering, due to the lack of maturity of the 3D models and the IT-designed prototype.
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