Under US law, the creation of a signature includes an element of intent. For example, Article 1 of the Uniform Commercial Code defines a signature to include “any symbol executed or adopted with the present intention to adopt or accept a writing.” ESIGN and UETA both adopt this emphasis on intent to the digital environment by defining an electronic signature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” Failure to establish intent means that while the person’s actions may manifest assent to, or agreement with, a record, the record has not been signed. If the intent is not established and the underlying law governing the transaction requires that the record is signed, then the record may not be enforceable.

Margo H. K. TankDavid Whitaker and Andrew Grant explain this issue in more detail, click here to read the full article.