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Non-Disclosure Agreements

What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

In the professional business environment, NDA’s are used often to protect confidential information that is intended to be kept quiet. Usually, this ‘confidential information’ is made up of things like, plans for a new product, customer data, sales and marketing incentives, or a quirky manufacturing process. If you use an NDA process, your secrets will remain confidential, and if they don’t, you’ll have the law to back you up, allowing you to sue for damages.

Definition of a Non-Disclosure Agreement:

To put it simply, a Non-Disclosure Agreement is a legally-binding contract creating a confidential relationship between an individual who has knowledge of some kind of trade secret, and an individual that they are going to trust this trade secret with.

What are Non-Disclosure Agreements Useful For?

  1. Protecting sensitive info. If you sign a Non-Disclosure agreement, you are promising not to share information that has been shared with you by the other party involved. If you do however share this private information, you will be liable for breach of contract.

  2. If a new product is being designed or a new concept being developed, the inventor is able to hold onto patent rights. A lot of the time, if you publicly disclose your product, it voids all patent rights. However, a formally drafted NDA can avoid this problem, and allow the inventor to retain product/idea rights.

  3. An NDA clearly expresses what is confidential and what is not, allowing everyone involved to be completely clear on what they are and what they are not allowed to disclose.

Generally, NDA’s cover all sorts of things; there’s not really a limit. If it is knowledge that has been shared between two people, it can potentially be drafted into an NDA. This can be from passwords, to results, to software.

NDA and confidentiality agreements are widely used in today’s environment, and not just in a business setting. Think doctors and patients, lawyers and clients, even librarians and book-lovers. It is necessary for the professionals in this case to sign NDA agreements so that your personal information is not shared.

Why Would a Non-Disclosure Agreement be Good for my Business?

NDAs are seen as a safe bet for keeping a variety of information confidential in a wide range of situations. You should always make sure that you’re aware and informed of the functionality of these agreements before signing or creating one so that you can make smart and beneficial legal decisions.

If you'd like to learn more about NDA's, see:

  • The Key Elements of a Non-Disclosure Agreement: Forbes

  • Using an NDA to Protect Your Intellectual Property: The Balance

  • Why Might an NDA be Useful? RocketLawyer

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