It is very common for new entrepreneurs to want to protect their business. To turn an idea into a profitable business takes a level of dedication and commitment that some may not be willing to give. When you put that much of yourself into a business, you want that effort to create something that lasts.
Many entrepreneurs consider the possibility of using non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements early in their business. Are all of these appropriate? There are many factors that you should think about before deciding which to use. For example, you should strongly consider discussing non-disclosure agreements if you have trade secrets to protect.
When Coca-Cola was created in 1886, the inventor didn’t write down the recipe, and he only shared it with a few people. Though intellectual property laws have evolved significantly, the mindset that stopped the inventor from advertising his recipe is a prime example of a trade secret for many reasons.
Not only do trade secrets usually deal with confidential information that can be sold or licensed, but the people behind the secrets have to take appropriate precautions against the information being released. Non-disclosure agreements are one way of accomplishing that.
How & Why They Protect You
You can utilize an NDA for more than a recipe. Some circumstances allow you to use a non-disclosure agreement for something as straightforward as a client list or even a business plan.
There will be times during the life of your business that you have to bring in third parties (freelancers, vendors, consultants). Because the relationship will be temporary, you want to limit the potential for permanent repercussions—especially if they can see or access proprietary information.
Not only is an NDA preventative, but it gives your attorney another tool to fight your case if your trade secrets do get released. If you discover someone is about to release protected information, your attorney can address this. By having a signed NDA in place, your counsel can demonstrate that someone is about to commit an wrongful act. When you do your part to protect trade secrets, your attorney is in a better position to defend you and your business.
At Neve Webb, we have extensive experience protecting your intellectual property and knowing how to respond when someone is illegally taking what is rightfully yours. Contact Neve Webb to schedule your consultation for further questions regarding copyrights, trademarks, and trade secret disclosures.
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