If you find or suspect that trade secrets or confidential information covered by an NOA have been publicly disclosed, it is important to act quickly to gather evidence of how the information was disclosed, who disclosed it and what it did, and who is responsible for it. The first step is to hire a lawyer who knows intellectual property. The creation of a confidential agreement is in fact the creation of a confidential relationship. As a general rule, these confidential relationships can generally only be established in writing. An indeterminate period can sometimes place a heavy burden on recipients when they have to keep the data from the revealing party. The courts might think that an unlimited confidentiality agreement is unfair. The applicability of the confidentiality period depends on the sector concerned and the nature of the information disclosed. Many people recommend confidentiality agreements – they may be the best or only solution for trade secrets, although I am skeptical about inventions… say that you make a confidential disclosure to one party and pass it on to another party – the link can be very difficult or impossible to prove. At the same time, confidentiality agreements often exclude certain information from protection. Exclusions may include information already considered to be public knowledge or data collected prior to the signing of the agreement.
On the other hand, if you are the recipient of the information, you have a legitimate desire to ensure that the information you want to keep secret is clearly identified, so that you know what you can use or not. In fact, you can use a confidentiality agreement to protect any type of information that is not known to everyone. And the use of a confidentiality agreement means that those who receive the information are required to keep the information secret, which legally prohibits that disclosure, by limiting an agreement, from being a general disclosure that would defeat a trade secret. These types of agreements are particularly useful when valuable information is revealed as long as it is confidential (i.e. a trade secret), which may include both invention-related and commercial information. Indeed, if you are trying to assert the valuable information you possess is a business secret, you must take the appropriate steps to keep it secret. An agreement that requires the recipient to keep your trade secret confidential becomes absolutely necessary, because once trade secrecy is known to all, it will no longer be a trade secret. See confidentiality requirement. Such agreements are often also required by new employees when they have access to sensitive company information.
In such cases, the employee is the only party to sign the contract. Oral information, in particular, can be difficult to process. Some recipients of the information insist that only written information should be treated confidentially. And of course, the party that gives oral information can say it`s too tight. The usual compromise is that oral information may be considered confidential information, but at some point the public party must confirm it in writing to the other party shortly after its disclosure, so that the receiving party is now informed of oral statements considered confidential. NDAs are an almost safe way to confirm that confidential information remains protected in many situations. It is important to know how these legal agreements work before signing or creating a document, as well-informed things can help you make the best legal decisions now and on the go. Agreements that create a confidential relationship are particularly useful if you have an invention and have not yet filed a patent application.