The Deceptively Simple Purchase Order
Again, if you do not want a P.O. to be enforceable, do not rely on the absence of a signature. Instead, state on the P.O. that it is not binding.
BEFORE YOU SIGN
And finally, a brief note about brevity: Even brevity has its legal implications. A lot of blank space should send off a warning flag.
Before you sign the P.O., be certain that all of the terms critical to the order's execution or fulfillment have been spelled out. In the event a term is omitted, a court or arbitrator may look to prevailing industry practices to determine what the parties would have done had they negotiated the term. The prevailing industry practices may not be in your best interest.
- Ola L. Clinton
Ola L. Clinton is an attorney with the San Francisco office of Holme, Roberts & Owen LLP where she represents privately and publicly traded companies, including those in the printing and publishing industries, in a variety of business and intellectual property transactions. She can be reached at Holme Roberts & Owen, One Maritime Plaza, Suite 2400A, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-268-1966, e-mail Ola.Clinton@HRO.com.