Jonathan Frieden of the E-Commerce Law Blog offers some excellent advice that companies should refrain from copying another company’s Web site terms of use policy.  Jonathan says that even sophisticated companies are tempted to reduce legal expenses by copying such policies.

Iowa intellectual property attorney Brett Trout has also offered the same advice.  As Brett pointed out in his post, an Iowa company looks pretty awkward explaining to a court why its dispute should be tried in Albuquerque.    

The bottom line is that even if you use standard terms of use policies and other online policies you will need some customization for your particular business needs.  Discuss with your lawyer whether he or she has standards forms that can be customized for your business.  Most eCommerce lawyers have such forms.  But it is a good practice to avoid directly copying the terms of use and other online policies of other companies.