The general rule is that silence cannot amount to acceptance. The rationale behind this is based on the idea that acceptance must take some form of objective manifestation of the intention of the offeree (i.e. the party to which an offer has been made) to accept the terms of the contract. Such intention is usually best expressed though some form of positive action. This is so as to ensure that no one can enforce a contract upon an unwilling party.
Case : Felthouse v. Bindley (1826) 11 CB (NS) 869; 142 ER 1037
Felthouse v Bindley (1862) EWHC CP J 35, is the leading English contract law case on the rule that one cannot impose an obligation on another to reject one's offer. ...view middle of the document...
Under s.8 of the Copyright Act 1956 retailers were protected from breach of copyright if they gave notice to the copyright holders of the ordinary retail selling price and paid them 6.25% of this. Nestle gave notice stating the ordinary selling price was the 1 shilling 6d and three chocolate bar wrappers. The question for the court was whether the chocolate bar wrappers formed part of the consideration. If they did it was impossible to ascertain the value they represented and therefore Nestle would not have complied with their obligation to give notice of the ordinary retail selling price. If the wrappers were a mere token or condition of sale rather than constituting consideration, then the notice would be valid and Nestle could sell the records.
The wrappers did form part of the consideration as the object was to increase sales and therefore provided value. The fact that the wrappers were simply to be thrown away did not detract from this. Therefore Chappel were granted the injunction and Nestle could not sell the records as they had not complied with the notice requirements under s.8.
Payne -v- Cave; 2-May-1789 case summary
The defendant’s bid for a worm-tub, and a pewter worm was highest at the auction, but withdrew his bid before the hammer...