Introduction to Confidentiality Agreements

contract

Image courtesy of NobMouse 

If you are considering seeking advice on a business idea or going into a joint venture, you may need to protect sensitive information or intellectual property.  The easiest way to do this is to enter into a confidentiality agreement with the other party.

The 2 main names attributed to such an arrangement are:

  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Non-disclosure agreement

When to use a Confidentiality agreement

During business negotiations that mean you may have to reveal sensitive commercial information to another party such as:

  • Consultancy
  • Purchases, transfers and sales of intellectual property
  • Joint commercial ventures
  • Distribution agreements
  • Tenders
  • Buying or selling a business

To assist with some of these common business communications, there are proformas available online at Simply Docs.   However, it is strongly advisable to seek legal advice when drawing up an agreement.

The type of information that is deemed as sensitive are; client lists, suppliers, financial information.  intellectual property also falls into this category, details of designs, inventions, books etc.  If you have to discuss intellectual property then it would be advisable to issue a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to relevant personnel for them to read and sign prior to any meeting taking place.

If someone breaks the terms of the agreement an application could be made to a court for an injunction to prevent the other party disclosing the information.

This would be  a matter for the civil courts.  If you or your business suffers a loss as a result you could be eligible to seek compensation.

For further information, contact your local commercial legal representative

There are also guidelines on Law Donut on disputes over intellectual property

Caroline

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