June 8, 2023, the Saskatchewan Court of the King’s Bench, held an emoji can express a contractual agreement between parties. See South West Terminal Ltd. V Achter Land
Once you learn the facts, it is not an outlier case. In South West Terminal Ltd. V Achter Land, involving the sale of farm supplies, the parties established practice where they communicated acceptance of their contracts through text messages and phone calls. On at least three occasions they exchanged messages of “looks good”, “ok” or “yup” and would then proceed to fulfil the contract. On the incident that led to the case the Achter representative responded with a ” emoji. The other party relied on the but failed to perform.
The Court concluded that the thumbs-up emoji had met the signature requirements of acceptance, and an $82,000.00 obligation. The Court relying upon Dictionary.com, found the definition of the thumbs-up emoji is generally thought to be of approval or acceptance. More importantly, the Court relied on the past contractual relationships informal conduct of the parties. Thus, for them, the thumbs up was acceptance. I wonder if LOL will one day be deemed an insult? I am more concerned about the use of 💩.