You are probably thinking about sharing your ideas with someone about a new product or process you have developed. If so, have you thought about confidentiality agreements and how these could help you?
Who can keep a secret?
We learn from a young age that some people can and some people can’t and of course we are all likely to have some secrets that we don’t share with anyone. So what do we do when we need to involve other people and their organisations in order to help us realise our goals?
Don't Give Away your Valuable Assets
A Confidentiality Agreement is but one tool that you can use in an overall a strategy to manage and protect your IP. Your IP strategy should include commercial and/or formally registered rights. Rights of copyright and electronic circuit layouts are automatic and require no registration. Rights to patents, industrial designs, trademarks, business names etc. need to be registered with the relevant authorities. We always recommend that you work with a Patent Attorney in these matters.
|Intellectual property represents the property of your mind or intellect. In business terms, this also means your proprietary knowledge.
Types of IP include:
Where to turn?
IP Australia is The agency that grants rights in patents, trade marks, and designs in Australia and they maintain a register of patent attorneys that can provide advice to you in confidentiality and all other IP matters. The website is also a great source of information relating to IP matters.
We happily recommend Phillips Ormonde & Fitzpatrick for all our client’s needs. Please contact Mark Bayly for a direct introduction.
IP Australia has a discontinued access to the FREE Confidentiality Agreement Generator that was available on its old website. According to their spokewoman, people need to seek their own legal advice as a asource for the agreements.
||Can Bayly Group provide us with a template of a confidentiality agreement for us to use in order to start discussing our ideas?|
|Q:||How much does it cost to have a Patent Attorney draft a Confidentiality Agreement for me?|
|A:||This will vary depending on your needs. Expect to pay $1,500 to $5,000 for a standard agreement.|
||How long does a Confidentiality Agreement last?|
|A:||In Australia, recent legal precedence has found that Confidentiality Agreements cannot be used as a restraint of trade and cannot be used to protect information forever. Confidentiality Agreements should have a specific timeframe for which they will remain in force, usually between 2 and 5 years.|
||What remedies are available to me if a company or person breaches the agreement?|
|A:||This question is best answered by your legal advisor in the context of the relevant legislation. Confidentiality Agreements sometimes include the remedies available to the parties.|
||What happens if the other party refuses to sign my Confidentiality Agreement?|
|A:||There will be some companies who, for perfectly valid business reasons, do not wish to sign an agreement; this doesn’t mean that they are dishonest but simply that they may not wish to receive any confidential information: for example, because they want to avoid conflict with areas they may already be working on. In these circumstances, you would need to rely more on your registered rights, take advice and consider the risks.|