IP Law: How To Keep Your Trade Secrets A Secret

Linkilaw Startup Advice & Tips

Starting a business often requires discussing plans, ideas, and sharing intellectual property (IP) with investors, potential marketers, and even potential clients before the business is even officially off the ground. This can pose a dilemma for many who fear that their ideas will not be protected, but cannot get their ideas realised without the help of others.

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There are ways that you can protect your ideas and still discuss them with necessary third parties. One way that businesses can protect themselves is by having people that they discuss their business and ideas with sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).


Often times, fledgling businesses do not have the available funds to get full patents for their IP, so with a NDA, or confidentiality agreement, the business can ensure that new employees, or partners, or even the marketers and graphic designers, cannot misappropriate delicate information.


Confidentiality agreements/NDAs cover a few bases including:


  • What is defined as the confidential information and IP – what you are trying to protect
  • Who is allowed to have access to the information
  • What third parties are allowed to do with the information
  • How long people can have access to the information
  • What the penalty for misappropriating information will be
  • What actions will sever the contract
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This is the best way to protect your ideas until such time that you can fully patent or copyright them. These agreements can even be made between joint partners, so that no one partner can take off with the ideas and claim them.

Most of us cannot make every aspect of a new business or idea come to life without other professionals to help. Don’t miss out on necessary support for your business from fear of leaking important and confidential information. You can protect yourself and your ideas, allowing you to get your business going without fear.