Confidentiality Agreements

News & Analysis as of

SEC Whistleblower Investigation Leads to Concern Over Protecting Confidential Information

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal indicates that the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) began a formal inquiry into whether corporations are setting up their confidentiality agreements in ways that prevent...more

SEC Whistleblower Inquiry Raises Concerns About Protection of Confidential and Privileged Information

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the SEC has launched an inquiry into whether corporations are using confidentiality agreements to prevent employees from communicating with the SEC about potential securities...more

“We have an NDA, what do you mean our trade secrets are no longer protected?”

As we all know, companies enter into non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements in the normal course of business to protect their trade secrets and other confidential information. In addition, many technology and commercial...more

SEC Investigating Companies’ Employment Contracts That Restrict Whistleblowing

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon be investigating the agreements companies make with their employees. According to a February 25, 2015 Wall Street Journal report, the SEC has sent requests to several...more

NLRB Holds That Confidentiality Agreement Barring Employees From Discussing Human Resources-Related Information is Unlawful

In Battle’s Transportation, Inc. and Jerome Kearney, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer’s confidentiality agreement that barred employees from discussing “human resources related information” and...more

Protecting Your Bacon: Patent versus Trade Secret

While, generally speaking, copyright law protects art, and trademark law protects branding, patent and trade secret laws protect information. In deciding how to best protect proprietary information, innovators and businesses...more

When Is Confidential Really Confidential?

A business’ confidential information is its life-blood. It is often the ingredients for a competitive economic advantage. But, if a business does not take steps to protect against use and dissemination of such information,...more

NLRB Overturns ALJ Decision; Finds Confidentiality Agreement Violated Employee Rights

On Feb. 24, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that a Washington transportation company’s Confidentiality Agreement violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The case was titled, Battle’s Transp.,...more

Restrictive Covenants in the Construction Industry: An Often Overlooked and Underutilized Source of Protection

Restrictive covenants come in many forms; they can be stand-alone agreements, such as a confidentiality agreement, or they can be included in various types of contracts, such as noncompete or nonsolicitation provisions in...more

SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank...more

STOP, THIEF! - How to Keep Your “Secret Sauce” In-House, When an Employee Is Lured to Greener Pastures

No matter how collegial and successful a workplace you have created for your employees, attrition is an inevitable fact of life in business, and in government contracting in particular. ...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

SEC Targeting Broad Employee Confidentiality Clauses

February 27, 2015 Authors: Gregory Keating and Harry Jones The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently contacted a number of companies seeking every confidentiality agreement, nondisclosure agreement, settlement...more

"Balancing Protection of Information With Employee Rights in Confidentiality Policies"

The developing law on employer confidentiality policies underscores the tension between an employer's ever-increasing need to protect confidential information and an employee's established right to discuss terms and...more

Blog: The ABCs of PIIAAs: Protecting Employee-Generated IP

Companies seeking to avoid employment disputes and to secure intellectual property rights to their employees’ inventions should make sure that all employees have signed confidentiality and inventions assignment agreements. ...more

Are Non-Disparagement Clauses a Good Idea?

Creatively, some physicians have been turning to non-disparagement clauses within confidentiality agreements as a way to prevent patients and potential patients from posting negative online reviews....more

More Forum Selection Affirmation from Delaware

An interesting Delaware Supreme Court decision just before the holidays may have escaped many people’s attention. In United Technologies Corp. v. Treppel, the Court concluded in the context of stockholder inspection rights...more

New Year’s Resolutions for Companies Seeking to Protect Their Trade Secrets in 2015

The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity to set lofty goals of self-improvement. While the odds of completing a New Year’s resolution aren’t exactly inspiring (over half are expected to fail within six months) studies...more

5 Insights From The SEC Whistleblower Program Annual Report That Will Impact Your 2015

The SEC’s whistleblower program has had a noteworthy year. They outlined the highlights in their “2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program.” Here are five trends that will continue to have an...more

Confidentiality Agreements Not Enforceable in Absence of Reasonable Efforts to Preserve Confidentiality

nClosures Inc. v. Block and Company, Inc. - Applying Illinois law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reminded prospective business partners that non-disclosure agreements will not be effective by...more

Enforceability of Confidentiality Agreements – Confidential Information Must Be “Confidential”

For many companies, entering into confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements is common practice when sharing confidential or proprietary information with third parties. However, as the recent case nClosures, Inc. v. Block...more

SEC’s 2014 Report on Dodd-Frank Whistleblowing Program: Key Takeaways and Trends Companies Should Expect for 2015

On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program and it is clear that the program is going strong. Following are six key takeaways...more

Court Refuses To Seal “Substantive Rulings” In Arbitration Award

A federal court in Michigan was recently presented with a motion to seal the briefing associated with a motion to confirm an arbitration award. The arbitration concerned a reinsurance dispute and had been conducted pursuant...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

When It Comes to Confidentiality Agreements, Just Getting the Signature Is Not Enough

Automotive suppliers and other manufacturers frequently have to share their valuable intellectual property with third parties. A supplier might need to share CAD files with another supplier to ensure that the finished product...more

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