Intellectual Property – Confidentiality
The Beatles defined it best in the song “Do You Want to Know a Secret” – take the time and listen to the lyrics of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVQU6xH96k8 (if nothing else you’ll smile for a while). If only the business world was that informal. Just a simple “promise not to tell”. Well, we’re all smart enough to know that telling your secrets to anyone without a proper Confidentiality Agreement is a sure sign you really don’t mean it. After all, try enforcing that promise in court. Bottom line for the protection of your intellectual property is to always start with a good confidentiality agreement and make sure that everyone (partners, employees, customers, and vendors) signs it BEFORE you give them access to that brilliant idea. That’s the first step in letting the general public know that you have something you believe is worth protecting. It doesn’t cost much to do it and all you need is a good form which should include at a minimum: (i) a definition of what you consider the “Confidential Information” to be, (ii) who can have access to the Confidential Information (name names), (iii) what those identified individuals can do with your Confidential information (and therefore cannot do with it) and (iv) when the Confidential Information should be returned.
Next installment, Intellectual Property – Patents, and remember, ALWAYS CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FIRST.