Non-Disclosure Agreement

News & Analysis as of

How Can You Safely Discuss Your IP with Others?

As discussed in our previous posts, startups are about capitalizing on ideas, contacts and experience. In the early stages of a startup or pre-startup, founders often socialize their business plan and details about their idea...more

New Whitepaper: Reasonable Steps to Protect Trade Secrets

Every company has trade secrets (so-called “crown jewels”)– confidential business and technical information – that if exposed, could result in lost sales, competitive advantage or the ability to further innovate....more

How Long Is Your Non-Disclosure Agreement Enforceable? It Depends.

Non-disclosure agreements (“NDA”), or confidentiality agreements, are useful in a variety of contexts, including between teaming partners, contractors and subcontractors, as well as employers and employees. ...more

North Carolina Business Court Revisits When Customer-Related Information is a Trade Secret

The North Carolina Business Court recently revisited the question of when a business’s customer-related information can be considered trade secrets. In Southern Fastening Systems, Inc. v. Grabber Construction Products, Inc.,...more

Is Your Insurance Brokerage Treating Commission Payable Statements as Trade Secrets?

In the modern insurance world, maintaining trade secrets is imperative for commercial success. Misappropriation of trade secrets will often lead to costly and protracted litigation, and can even irreparably harm a business....more

Maintaining the Magic: Disney's Use of Confidentiality Restrictions to Promote Character Integrity

When your business depends on a carefully-crafted public image, you do not want the public to know how hard you work to maintain that image. These days, that includes preventing your employees from revealing too much via...more

Should Breweries be Worried about Trade Secret Misappropriation?

The craft brewing industry is exploding and there is no sign of it slowing down in the upcoming years. In 2010, the Brewers Association reported 1,813 breweries in the United States. As of 2013, there were over 2,800...more

Restrictive Covenants – A Close Call Goes The Employer’s Way

A very recent federal court decision, A.H. Harris & Sons, Inc. v. Naso, 2015 WL 1420132 (D.Conn.), illustrates how judges weigh various facts when deciding to grant or deny a preliminary injunction in a restrictive covenant...more

7 Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid To Protect IP

Startups are justifiably focused on developing the next big idea, getting that idea to market and ensuring the company has enough financial runway to make it all happen. Missteps in protecting the startup’s intellectual...more

Uncertain Future for Non-Compete Agreements in Massachusetts: Legislators Seek Compromise

Hearing Overview: On June 23rd, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development met to consider legislation relating to the legality and enforcement of non-compete agreements. The committee...more

ZTE Enjoined From Further Breaching NDA Entered For Settlement Discussions (Vringo V. ZTE)

Judge Kaplan of S.D. New York recently issued a preliminary injunction to enjoin ZTE from further disclosing information subject to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that ZTE had entered with Vringo to potentially settle...more

What Employees Need to Know about IP Protection

Do your employees understand the importance of intellectual property (IP) to your company and steps that they should be taking to protect it? Do they recognize that exposing proprietary information, such as product...more

Things You Can’t Un-See … Such As Trade Secrets

A federal appeals court has ruled that “features and functions” of software programs are not trade secrets, particularly when those with access are not required to sign confidentiality agreements. This ruling reinforces the...more

Recommended Actions for Hedge Fund, Private Equity Fund and Other Private Fund Advisers To Prevent Possible Whistleblower...

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had settled its first enforcement action under SEC Rule 21F-17, which prohibits companies from taking actions or using confidentiality...more

No Parade for Employers: NLRB Judge Invalidates Several Policies in Macy’s Handbook

The NLRB continued its assault on employee handbooks and policies, as an administrative law judge recently found several provisions in the Macy’s handbook, including the confidential information policy, to be unlawful, as...more

Blog: Should You Require a Signed NDA from a Potential Investor?

First time entrepreneurs may be tempted to ask a VC to sign a non-disclosure agreement before pitching them or sending information to them. Here are four reasons why the investor won’t sign the NDA, and why the request may...more

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” Is Like Sesame Street for Start-Ups

A recent episode of “Silicon Valley” was brought to you by the letters N-D-A. The protagonists are seeking funding for their start-up, Pied Piper, and one of the potential investment groups starts asking curiously technical...more

“‘Say it ain’t so, bro!’” (Episode 14)

Previously we’ve discussed Hooli’s reverse engineering of Pied Piper’s technology and the threatened lawsuit for ownership of the technology. In Episode 14, Pied Piper faces a new threat: Endframe, a Pied Piper competitor,...more

VC’s running scared – Hooli is suing Pied Piper (Episodes 9 and 10) continued

Last post I mused that had Richard taken certain steps in the first season of Silicon Valley, he might now have ammunition to use against Hooli’s lawsuit. What am I talking about? To very crudely recap what happened last...more

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need...more

An Interesting Trade Secrets Case From The Business Court

If you were unsure whether customer information held by your client -- like customer contact information, sales reports, prices and terms books, sales memos, sales training manuals, commission reports, and vendor information...more

Best Practices in Social Media for Employers Part 4 – Social Media: Post-Employment Considerations

After the employment relationship is terminated, employers should be aware of former employees’ social media activity to ensure continued compliance with any post-employment obligations, including nondisclosure of proprietary...more

Federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently caused shockwaves when it announced its first enforcement action against a company for using an allegedly improper confidentiality agreement during internal investigations....more

SEC Launches Investigation into Employment Contracts that Prevent Whistleblowing

A February 25 article in the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will begin investigating the kinds of agreements that certain companies make with their employees. The article...more

Starting a New Company? Protect Your Intellectual Property Now or Maybe Never

When getting a startup off the ground and in the course of ongoing operations, it is important to take care of some fundamental housekeeping matters. The failure to do so can result in problems that could be costly and/or...more

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