Internet, e-Commerce & Social Media


From the inception of the Web, the technology, media & telecommunications attorneys at Ropes & Gray have advised and represented clients on legal issues in virtually every area of the Internet, e-commerce applications and social media.



Internet and e-Commerce

The explosion of commercial applications on the Internet has given rise to a vast variety of opportunities, as well as legal risks and even disputes of particular concern to players in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries.

From the inception of the Web, the technology, media and telecommunications attorneys at Ropes & Gray have advised and represented clients on legal issues in virtually every area of the Internet and e-commerce applications. Our experienced attorneys are on the cutting edge of their respective fields – many with advanced degrees in computer sciences, software, electrical engineering and related fields.

We have the knowledge and experience to evaluate the needs of our TMT clients and formulate global strategies to address the types of unique challenges faced by companies in e-commerce and on the Internet. And when litigation is necessary, our capability is unsurpassed.

We have worked with Internet innovators such as the docSpace Company (now Critical Path), which pioneered the transfer and storage of electronic information on the Web, and Cantor Fitzgerald/e-Speed, which developed sophisticated financial applications for the Internet. Our considerable experience in Internet and e-commerce issues is backed by one of the largest and most respected industry-focused practice groups in the nation.

Social Media

In less than a decade, social networking and social media have revolutionized the way business is done. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and many others offer our clients new ways to connect with their customers and employees, build a brand image and communicate with the public. These new communications platforms, however, come with new risks and liabilities.

Ropes & Gray’s social media group is experienced at helping clients navigate the evolving landscape of legal risk and opportunity. Our cross-disciplinary team is made up of attorneys from practices that include labor & employment, privacy & data security, intellectual property, advertising, securities, antitrust, FDA, and investment management.

We offer a wide range of services for clients across all industries and sectors, including those in financial services, retail, technology and life sciences, as well as not-for-profit, educational and cultural organizations. To learn more, please visit our Social Media page.


Clients we have counseled recently include:

  • Zynga in connection with their acquisitions of Conduit Labs, NewToy and Area Code Entertainment, as well as advising them on IP rights management and privacy and data security matters. 
  • The underwriters in the IPOs of such companies as Zipcar.  
  • Monster Worldwide on third-party vendor management and data privacy matters in connection with the launch of their new app, BeKnown. We are also advising Monster in connection with an accessibility challenge to its Web page brought by disability advocate groups.  
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America in connection with privacy compliance and data security matters. 
  • in the formation of its U.S. subsidiary, as well as advising on related general corporate and trademark matters.  
  • Berkshire Partners in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Skillsoft PLC.  
  • Bain Capital in connection with its investment in, and later sale of, iPay Technologies, a provider of online bill payment services.
  • SightSound Technologies LLC v. A Major Electronics Company – We represent a major electronics company in a patent infringement suit relating to systems and methods for transmitting desired digital video or audio signals.
  • Vederi, LLC v. A Large Internet Company – We secured a non-infringement victory on summary judgment for an internet search provider in a patent infringement action relating to systems and methods that purportedly allow users to navigate street-level views of a neighborhood.
  • Droplets, Inc. v. E-Trade Corporation, et al. – We represent PEAK6 Investments in a patent infringement action relating to Internet technology.
  • DealerTrack v. RouteOne – We represented RouteOne in a patent infringement action concerning 3 patents relating to electronic credit application processing systems.
  • CyberSource v. Retail Decisions, Inc. – We represented Retail Decisions in an action for alleged infringement of a patent relating to a system for detecting credit card fraud over the Internet.

Recent examples of social media advice include:

  • Counseling numerous clients on their response to instances of trademark infringement on other parties’ social media sites.
  • Advising pharmaceutical and medical device companies on the development and use of mobile medical applications, message boards and other social media platforms.
  • Counseling over a dozen investment advisory firms regarding social media compliance policies and procedures.
  • Representing a consumer product company in a challenge brought before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (NAD) regarding social media practices.
  • Regularly advising a regulated consumer products company on its marketing and promotional efforts through, and disclosure practices for, various social media platforms.
  • Counseling consumer-oriented Internet properties and app providers on their social media disclosure policies and practices.
  • Counseling an industrial machinery corporation on social media policies.