The court interpreted a "thumbs up" in business correspondence as agreement to the terms

A Russian court equated emoji to a signature in a document.
The court considered the case of two individual entrepreneurs regarding the supply of a mobile van. The document stated that the colors of the object were to be approved by an additional agreement. However, the details were discussed via messenger. The customer made revisions and received a "thumbs up" emoji in response. They made a prepayment of almost 500 thousand rubles, but the supplier did not deliver the kiosk on time, claiming that the contract was not signed. The court sided with the customer, recognized the emoji as official consent, and ordered the businessman to pay back the deposit with interest.

Valeriya Doskovskikh, a lawyer at UPPERCASE LEGAL, believes that it is necessary to wait for clarifications from the Supreme Court:
"In order to use emojis both when signing contracts and when challenging them, first of all, we need to wait for clarifications from the Supreme Court. However, they will not come too quickly, because such precedents are rare. Up to now, challenges to concludent actions, such as accepting a contract, are still very common, even though concludent actions are officially stated in the Civil Code as a form of signing a contract.

What should the parties do in this case? In my opinion, they will go to cassation, and there is also the possibility to file a complaint for appeal, because there is no uniformity there, and they disagree with the interpretation. In any case, it is necessary to challenge, because we do not have such precedents and such judicial practice.

Therefore, although in Russia precedent is not a property and means of proof, we still understand that a "thumbs up" is not a legal means of confirming the signing of a contract or agreement to its terms.

This situation should somehow prompt the Supreme Court or higher authorities to resolve this dispute and establish justice. Because there is a misunderstanding caused by electronic interaction between parties, which is now widespread - most parties communicate through email and messengers. Otherwise, the courts will face a huge wave of disputes and lawsuits that will be fundamentally unresolved."
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