Please Explain This “Electronic Signature” Oddity

Below is the signature page from a Courtyard Marriott group sales agreement I found online. I know next to nothing about electronic signatures, but I found decidedly odd the e-signature process specified in this contract. “Replace Empty Box with Blackened Box Here to Enter Into Binding Obligation”? And check out the note at the bottom about how you can do it using Word.

Can anyone explain this to me and where it fits in electronic-signature doctrine?

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

3 thoughts on “Please Explain This “Electronic Signature” Oddity”

  1. Ken:

    Any act, intended to be an electronic signature, can be an electronic signature. But you would not want to rely on an action as an electronic signature if that action was easy to do by mistake. So they adopted an action that was readily available, but hard to do by accident. It is why a lot of click-through agreements require two clicks and many systems get you to draw something as your signature. This one is odd, but not unreasonable.


  2. Ken, this is hilarious.
    We used to see this approach 20+ years ago, when business were dipping their toes in the murky and uncharted waters of “going electronic.” The unfamiliarity with the advantages of digital transactions often led to procedures that demanded more effort and caused more confusion than simply doing the transaction on paper. This is a painful example of such an process.
    While this oddball process is technically in line with ESIGN and UETA — at least for commercial transactions that do not involve a consumer — it is cumbersome, outdated and unnecessary.
    Ken Moyle


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.