12. DISPUTE RESOLUTION/BINDING ARBITRATION/CLASS ACTION WAIVER.
Most user concerns can be resolved by use of our Steam support site at https://support.steampowered.com/
. If we are unable to resolve your concerns and a dispute remains between you and Valve, this Section explains how we agree to resolve it.
YOU AND VALVE AGREE TO RESOLVE ALL DISPUTES AND CLAIMS BETWEEN US IN INDIVIDUAL BINDING ARBITRATION. THAT INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, ANY CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO: (i) ANY ASPECT OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US; (ii) THIS AGREEMENT; OR (iii) YOUR USE OF STEAM, YOUR ACCOUNT OR THE SOFTWARE. IT APPLIES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CLAIMS ARE BASED IN CONTRACT, TORT, STATUTE, FRAUD, UNFAIR COMPETITION, MISREPRESENTATION OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY.
However, this Section does not apply to the following types of claims or disputes, which you or Valve may bring in any court with jurisdiction: (i) claims of infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights, including such claims seeking injunctive relief; and (ii) claims related to or arising from any alleged unauthorized use, piracy or theft.
This Section does not prevent you from bringing your dispute to the attention of any federal, state, or local government agencies that can, if the law allows, seek relief from us for you.
An arbitration is a proceeding before a neutral arbitrator, instead of before a judge or jury. Arbitration is less formal than a lawsuit in court, and provides more limited discovery. It follows different rules than court proceedings, and is subject to very limited review by courts. The arbitrator will issue a written decision and provide a statement of reasons if requested by either party. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU AND VALVE ARE GIVING UP THE RIGHT TO SUE IN COURT AND TO HAVE A TRIAL BEFORE A JUDGE OR JURY.
You and Valve agree to make reasonable, good faith efforts to informally resolve any dispute before initiating arbitration. A party who intends to seek arbitration must first send the other a written notice that describes the nature and basis of the claim or dispute and sets forth the relief sought. If you and Valve do not reach an agreement to resolve that claim or dispute within 30 days after the notice is received, you or Valve may commence an arbitration. Written notice to Valve must be sent via postal mail to: ATTN: Arbitration Notice, Valve Corporation, P.O. Box 1688, Bellevue, WA 98004.
The Federal Arbitration Act applies to this Section. The arbitration will be governed by the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and, where applicable, the AAAs Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes, as modified by this Agreement, both of which are available at http://www.adr.org
. The arbitrator is bound by the terms of this Agreement.
The AAA will administer the arbitration. It may be conducted through the submission of documents, by phone, or in person in the county where you live or at another mutually agreed location.
If you seek $10,000 or less, Valve agrees to reimburse your filing fee and your share of the arbitration costs, including your share of arbitrator compensation, at the conclusion of the proceeding, unless the arbitrator determines your claims are frivolous or costs are unreasonable as determined by the arbitrator. Valve agrees not to seek its attorneys' fees or costs in arbitration unless the arbitrator determines your claims are frivolous or costs are unreasonable as determined by the arbitrator. If you seek more than $10,000, the arbitration costs, including arbitrator compensation, will be split between you and Valve according to the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules and the AAAs Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes, if applicable.
YOU AND VALVE AGREE NOT TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION, PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION OR COLLECTIVE ARBITRATION, EVEN IF AAAs PROCEDURES OR RULES WOULD OTHERWISE ALLOW ONE. THE ARBITRATOR MAY AWARD RELIEF ONLY IN FAVOR OF THE INDIVIDUAL PARTY SEEKING RELIEF AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF THAT PARTYS INDIVIDUAL CLAIM. You and Valve also agree not to seek to combine any action or arbitration with any other action or arbitration without the consent of all parties to this Agreement and all other actions or arbitrations.
If the agreement in this Section not to bring or participate in a class or representative action, private attorney general action or collective arbitration should be found illegal or unenforceable, you and Valve agree that it shall not be severable, that this entire Section shall be unenforceable and any claim or dispute would be resolved in court and not in collective arbitration.
Notwithstanding this Section, you have the right to litigate any dispute in small claims court, if all the requirements of the small claims court, including any limitations on jurisdiction and the amount at issue in the dispute, are satisfied.
This Section 12 shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. If the laws of your jurisdiction prohibit the application of some or all of the provisions of this Section notwithstanding Section 11 (Applicable Law/Jurisdiction), such provisions will not apply to you.