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Electronic Commerce Law

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Course Classification

This is a Themis course. It is also open to non-Themis students.

Teaching Mode

distance learning course (online), only one live session in the classroom

The content of this course will be available online at any time.

Course Materials

You will work remotely via the course website through various tasks and materials, and contact the professor with any questions you may have by writing to ldetermann@bakermckenzie.com and frances.say@bakermckenzie.com

The course materials are available from https://sites.google.com/site/profdetermann/professor-determanns-site/law-school-courses/electronic-commerce-law-202122 and consist of problems, applicable statutes and precedents.


5 (if exam has been passed)


This course will be held at irregular intervals. It will be available in the summer term 2023.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

For information about the live session, please have a look at our electronic course catalogue.

Course Description

It is not anymore about having an electronic business or a traditional business.
It is all about having an electronic business or no business at all.

Under the heading "Electronic Commerce" and more recently "Mobile Commerce", companies pursue a vast number of commercial activities. In doing so, businesses face legal problems in nearly all traditional areas of the law (such as contracts, torts, constitutional law, administrative law, intellectual property, etc.). Additionally, companies have to consider a number of issues that are specific to doing business via the Internet and mobile networks either because of technology specific aspects (e.g., signing a contract on a small cell phone screen electronically) or because traditional legal issues have a far greater practical dimension in cyberspace (e.g., trademarks).

We will approach these eBusiness specific issues in our lecture on Electronic Commerce by following a traditional business in its endeavor to transit from an existing offline business to a modern online business. For best illustration, we will take one of the most basic and low-technology industries that you can imagine: A fishing outfitter who provides services (accommodation and guides) and simple goods (fishing equipment) for sale and rent. We will accompany the transition into Electronic and Mobile Commerce step by step in order to address the most relevant legal issues in a systematic and structured manner. In doing so, we will of course look at cases and materials that concern other, more technologically sophisticated industries such as the computer and entertainment industry. Due to their core know-how and financial strength, these industries naturally occupied the electronic and mobile commerce field much earlier. Yet, we will find that most of the legal challenges faced by high tech businesses are also relevant for any other business that goes online - even if it is as traditional and technologically simple as a fishing outfitter.

Objective of the lecture will be to familiarize students with the typical legal problems in electronic and mobile commerce around the world. Topics covered will include intellectual property, contracts, competition, commercial, and data privacy law. Method of teaching will be the introduction of hypotheticals and brand new cases and their review under applicable laws as well as economic and policy considerations.

Restricted Enrollment

yes (that means that the number of participants is limited and that you might not get a place in this course)

Course Registration

It will not be possible to sign up for this course via Campus Management.

Please ask the course instructor Professor Determann to sign you up for his course by sending an e-mail to both ldetermann@bakernet.com and frances.say@bakermckenzie.com

deadline: 17 April 2023 (preferably earlier; first come, first served!)

The Examination Office will enroll you for this course on Campus Management, once it has received your data from the course instructor.

De-Registration from this Course

via e-mail: Please tell the course instructor Professor Determann that you do not wish to participate any longer by sending an e-mail to ldetermann@bakernet.com and frances.say@bakermckenzie.com and to the International Office at the Law Department (jurallp@zedat.fu-berlin.de).

You can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the last exam.

Type of Exam and Exam Period

Students have to complete five multiple choice quizzes and two essays in the course of the semester.

Registration for the Exam

Students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course via Campus Management are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not drop this course via Campus Management and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

via Campus Management