Kiosk seller loses court claim and deposit after thumb up

Court Rules Emoji as Valid Signature in Mobile Trade Kiosk Dispute

In Rostov-on-Don, the court examined an unusual dispute between two individual entrepreneurs related to the purchase of a mobile trade kiosk. The court came to the conclusion that Emoji is a “thumb up” sent to one of the parties in the WhatsApp messenger, is the equivalent of the signature in the document. This is the first such case in Russian judicial practice.

According to the court, in March 2022, IP Siranush Harutyunyan agreed to buy a mobile trading kiosk in the form of a Volkswagen T1 retrofurg for 685 thousand rubles from IP Rodion Rudonko. The contract stated that the colors of the lower and upper part of the kiosk should be approved by the parties in the framework of the additional agreement. Harutyunyan paid a deposit of 479.5 thousand rubles, and the remaining amount was supposed to be paid when the goods were ready for shipment.

However, Rudenko could not fulfill his obligations on time, and Harutyunyan demanded to return the deposit. In response to this, Rudenko said that the parties did not conclude an additional agreement, which was initially agreed upon, because of which he could not finish work on the kiosk. In July 2022, Harutyunyan filed a lawsuit in the Arbitration Court of the Krasnodar Territory to recover the deposit and interest for using other people’s money.

Rudenko referred to the fact that he could not finish his work without the conclusion of an additional agreement. However, the court ruled that in the correspondence presented by the parties in WhatsApp, the color of the kiosk was discussed. So, on April 6, 2022, Rudenko wrote: “Okay, a yellow strip on a white background”, in response to an emoji “big finger up” from the representative of Harutyunyan.

“This sign in

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