How Does the Thomson Reuters Marketplace Work?

Yesterday, Artificial Lawyer covered the news that Thomson Reuters had launched its own marketplace, which will promote not just products and templates built within the company, but also market other legal tech companies and the services of professional firms, such as KPMG. But how does it all work? Artificial Lawyer dug into the Terms & Conditions to find out.

This site also spoke to Specifio, a US-based legal tech company using NLP and natural language generation to support patent filings. CEO and Co-founder, Ian Schick, told this site: ‘This is a marketing channel. It’s essentially a curated listing. They take a percentage of net sales as a result of the listing.’

And, (see more below), that amounts to 15% of net sales.

He added that as far as he understood, that for now when it comes to 3rd party vendors that are not inside of Thomson Reuters, the marketplace primarily links to the vendor’s website.

And as to how the company found its way onto the marketplace? ‘We received an invitation to join the beta after being approached for an informational and introductory call,’ he noted, and added that he did not know what criteria they have used to select the companies.

All well and good, but what does being a member of the marketplace involve? This site looked through the Ts & Cs to find out some more.

How it works – some of the key points – from Thomson Reuters’ Marketplace site.

The Thomson Reuters Marketplace is the marketplace operated by Thomson Reuters (currently located at: www.marketplace.thomsonreuters.com).


1. Marketplace Eligibility. The Thomson Reuters Marketplace website permits you as a seller (“Marketplace Seller”) to set up stores that list and sell your content, products, services, and other materials (“Marketplace Content”).

You will establish the pricing, license rights, and other terms governing Thomson Reuters Marketplace customers’ (“Customers”) use of your Marketplace Content.

3.3 You will ensure that all software in your Marketplace Content is up-to-date with current bug fixes and patches.

If we determine that an update to the operating system used in any of your Marketplace Content consisting of software is necessary or desirable, we may, but do not need to, contact you to request that you update such software and resubmit your Marketplace Content consisting of such software in accordance with Section 3.1. If you fail to update such software within the time specified in such notice, then we reserve the right to remove your Marketplace Content consisting of such software from the Thomson Reuters Marketplace.

We are not responsible for any dispute between you and any Customer, but we may elect to assist in resolving any dispute between you and any Customer. If we elect to assist in the resolution of such a dispute, you agree to cooperate with us to resolve the dispute, but any final resolution of a dispute will be between you and the Customer..

All sales are binding. You are obligated to provide the applicable Marketplace Content order in a prompt manner after a sale is made over the Services or you otherwise complete the transaction with the applicable buyer. The cost arising from not completing orders in time shall be undertaken by you.

You are also responsible for any nonconformity or defect in, or any recall (public or private, voluntary or mandatory) of, as well as any other safety concerns related to, the Marketplace Content you list for sale. You will notify us as soon as you become aware of any recall related to your Marketplace Content.

4. Ratings, Reviews, and Feedback. We may implement mechanisms that rate, or allow Customers or users of the Thomson Reuters Marketplace to rate and provide ratings, reviews, photos, videos or other content feedback about, your Marketplace Content (including information about your Marketplace Content that was removed from the Thomson Reuters Marketplace), you, and your performance in connection with your Marketplace Content and the Thomson Reuters Marketplace (“Feedback”). We may make the Feedback publicly available.

Feedback generated by Customers or users on our Services are not endorsed by Thomson Reuters and do not represent the views of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters does not assume liability for Feedback or for any claims for economic loss resulting from such ratings and reviews.

7. Marketing Activities. 

You may not include in your Marketplace Content, any advertisements or promotions for, or opportunities for a Customer to purchase, products or services that you do not list in the Thomson Reuters Marketplace. You must not represent yourself as a Thomson Reuters business partner, unless otherwise authorized by Thomson Reuters in writing. Thomson Reuters does not grant you any express or implied rights or licenses under trademarks of Thomson Reuters.

10. Processing of Transactions and Fees. If you elect to have Thomson Reuters process orders and collect the fees for your Marketplace Content through the Thomson Reuters Marketplace, you hereby appoint us as your payment processing agent for the limited purpose of receiving payments on your behalf from Customers.

On your behalf, we will process all payments and refunds for Transactions and collect the applicable gross sales proceeds received by us from any Transaction (“Transaction Proceeds”). Receipt of funds from Customers by us on your behalf for your Marketplace Content will be deemed receipt of funds from Customers by you and will satisfy the obligations owed to you by Customers in the amount of the applicable payment by the Customer. We do not guarantee payment on behalf of any Customers.

We will pay to you all previously unpaid Transaction Proceeds that we have collected within forty-five (45) days of the end of each calendar year quarter. We will deduct from each payment the relevant percentage of Transaction Proceeds related to your Marketplace Content and the associated Transaction(s) (“Listing Fees”) as determined in accordance with the Listing Fee Schedule set forth in Exhibit A attached hereto, as may be updated from time to time by us in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. We may also withhold, deduct, or setoff any amounts payable by you to us or our Affiliates against any Transaction Proceeds.

17. Technical Support. 

You are solely responsible for technical support (if any) for your Marketplace Content. For clarity, you are not required to provide technical support for your Marketplace Content, but we will not be required to provide Customer support or technical support to any Customer of your Marketplace Content.

21. Insurance. 

You will maintain at your expense throughout the Term of your use of the Thomson Reuters Marketplace or Services, general commercial, umbrella or excess liability insurance with the limits per occurrence and in aggregate reasonably requested by us covering liabilities caused by or occurring in conjunction with the operation of your business, including products, products/completed operations and bodily injury, with policies naming Thomson Reuters and our Affiliates as additional insureds. At our request, you will provide to us certificates of insurance for such coverage.

26. Force Majeure. 

Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any delay or failure to perform resulting from causes outside its reasonable control, including, but not limited to, acts of God, war, terrorism, riots, embargos, acts of civil or military authorities, fire, floods, accidents, strikes or shortages of transportation facilities, fuel, energy, labor or materials.

LISTING FEE SCHEDULE

  1. The Listing Fee for each listing of Marketplace Content is fifteen percent (15%) of the Net Cash Proceeds from each sale of the Marketplace Content (85% to Marketplace Seller, 15% to Thomson Reuters) fulfilled through the Thomson Reuters Marketplace or outside the Thomson Reuters Marketplace as a result of the user/purchaser contacting the Marketplace Seller through the Thomson Reuters Marketplace.
  2. “Net Cash Proceeds” means the fees charged by the Marketplace Seller for the relevant Marketplace Content, excluding: (i) any excise, sales, use, or other domestic or foreign tax, received and payable on the sale of the Marketplace Content, and (ii) any transportation, shipping and handling charges directly attributable to licenses or delivery of the Marketplace Content, including any renewals processed on the Thomson Reuters Marketplace. For clarity, Listing Fees for renewals of Marketplace Content are excluded if they are processed by the Marketplace Seller outside the Thomson Reuters Marketplace.

2. Listing Fees are non-refundable.


So, there you go. In many ways this is a very open platform. Thomson Reuters appears (from the info above) to have a quite ‘hands off’ approach, putting the responsibility on the vendors to do things right, have insurance, deal with technical issues, and handle customer relationships. The only thing they seem to get perturbed by is the need for you to make sure your product is fully working and up-to-date.

The main thing they demand in return for promoting your tech or service to the company’s vast and global audience is 15% of ‘net cash proceeds’.

Is that a fair price? It doesn’t seem unreasonable. Although, it’s fair to say that other market places / directories may charge different rates, or nothing at all.

This is also just the early beta phase. Whether the listing is worth it will be known probably by the end of next year. But, one has to see this in a wider context. This is not just any old listing, this is nested within Thomson Reuters itself, and clients making use of its many products may well find their way to the marketplace.

One last thought is whether this is primarily designed to keep customers inside, or near to, the company’s ecosystem. Aside from generating additional revenue this clearly does keep clients closely linked to Thomson Reuters, even when they try out other vendors and service providers.

Plus, for Thomson Reuters this becomes a very useful way to learn more about these other vendors, how they work, and what client demand is like for them.

That then provides the company with useful business intelligence about the legal tech market and may inform future decisions around building their own tech products, or perhaps one day making acquisitions in those product areas.

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