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Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-Disclosure Agreements

I have ideas for the development of what I think may be a patentable methodology that could be implemented in software.

I will need to collaborate with SMEs in other fields to develop my ideas.

Does anyone have any tips on how to handle non disclosure agreements for finding evaluating potential partners?

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

If you think you need one (and you may), consult a lawyer to draft it for you.  I've been asked to sign dozens of these things over the years and they've ranged from reasonable to unreasonable (one tried to ban me from discussing any fluid mechanics topic for 5 years, I didn't sign it).  The thing that often stops me from signing them (and participating in the project) is if they don't have explicit language to exclude prior knowledge or information that becomes public through no fault of the signatories from prosecution.

Do it right and no one should have a problem signing.  Do it wrong and the only people who will be willing to sign are people who have no intention of adhering to the terms.


RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

There is an old (name of nationality here) saying.

It is only a secret is only one person knows about it. Or something like that.

When evaluating potential partners, you need to be vauge enough that your "secret" doesn't get out, but enough information that the potential partner can decide if he/she is interested.

Tough line to walk. Good luck.

Oh, by the way, the non-disclosure agreement are great. Enforcing them cost money (which you may or may not have). Winning is also tough (more money and much more time).

Just because you are right, doesn't mean you always win.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

I agree with both responses.

If there is enough input needed from others sign a licencing agreement with these people and let them do the tough part of getting it developed.  It is an option to look at.

I know of people who have come up with ideas who couldn't make it off the ground because it was not their field of expertise, got others to design and manufacture the idea, and they collect royalties off of the product.  They stated in their agreements to be the inventors on the patents however.

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

If I have to sign an NDA it has to go to a VP for counter signing. Doesn't happen much! (not that I have any problem going to a VP, but the chances are he'll say no anyway).


Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

I'd like to see some of you take work in the Aerospace or Automotive fields, without signing an NDA.  I've never had a single job that would progress past a phone call without NDA.  I've also never had one come across my desk that was unreasonable.

Software maybe different - but NDA is a good thing to have as protection, on both counts.  I like to give other companies' NDAs a comparison to my own, before signing.  It doesn't take long to figure out what is, and what is not, reasonable.

Unlike others, I've always thought that the people who were most objectionable to signing, were the least likely to abide by ANY terms, whatsoever.  Just my experience, I guess...

CAD design engineering services -  Catia V4, Catia V5, and CAD Translation.  Catia V5 resources - CATBlog.

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements


If you want to see a problematic NDA go to work with CDI.  they will own everything you think of and your great grandkids ideas.  I worked for them for about 18 mths, all of us workers were asked to sign it and we refused.  they then lost the contract with the company they were affiliated with for this and other reasons.  We consulted a lawyer and was advised not to sign it.

I worked for another company that had a union affiliation and the company wanted us to sign one and the union consulted a lawyer as well and again for simular reasons we were advised not to sign.

I allways make sure that I exempt my areas of interest that I am personnally pursuing.

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

Well, you did the right thing, it seems. (ProEDesigner00)  Like I said, though - I compare the NDA that I get, with the one that I ask to be signed for my projects.  Any NDA that is on the straight and narrow, should be self-evident.  If you own your own business, you should, at this point, be fluent in enough legalese to know what sounds right, and what seems to be a load of crap.  I take notice immediately to any NDA that has more than 5 pages - it's my instant red flag.

There are some jobs, in some fields, that you simply cannot get without NDA signed.  I'm not directly suggesting that anyone is saying that you absolutely SHOULD NOT sign one, but it should be noted that this is an absolute truth of the trade.  One should never refuse to sign an NDA, just for the sake of taking a stance, if the NDA is reasonable. (as most are)

I'm sure you won't have any trouble agreeing with that.

CAD design engineering services -  Catia V4, Catia V5, and CAD Translation.  Catia V5 resources - CATBlog.

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

Not at all.  I am glad to know that I am on the right path comparred to those of you who have alot of experience running your own gig.

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

NDA's are like locks, they keep honest people honest.  They also ensure an understanding has been reached before business is conducted.  If you don't feel you can trust someone with your IP, an NDA is not going to help you.  Remember, you can't fence in a snake!

Nigel Waterhouse B Eng (Hon's)
Can-Am Aerospace,LLC, Canadian Aircraft Certification Centre

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

99: What is SME ? Large companies don't like to sign NDA-s

It is my experience after 10+ patents that you can disclose
the basic idea to investors - they prefer to let their money and others work for them -- but not to companies
involved in production at least not without NDA.

Individuals are smaller risks than companies.

You can do a preliminary patent search at <www.uspto.gov>
Provisional patent application is a cheap way to protect.


Plesae read FAQ240-1032
My WEB: <http://geocities.com/nbucska/>

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

SME = Subject Matter Experts

RE: Non-Disclosure Agreements

SME = Small and Medium Enterprises

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