NDAs (non-disclosure agreements)...

I know there has been some discussion earlier about NDAs, but thought i’d start a new thread, as im looking for a more specific question than just (sign or not)…

As NDAs are typical for designers (esp. consultants), just wondering if anyone has the non-professional (legal) advice of any things to watch out for in NDAs. Specifically, are there any clauses, terms that should be a red-flag?

I never have a problem signing them, and usually read it through, but would be interesting to know if anyone has been bitten by them or had something they signed come back to haunt them.


Watch out for ones that pretty much say that they own anything you design during the time you’re working for them (including your own portfolio projects and work for other clients?!) Basically a way of making it so that you only work for them (which is no good if you’re a consultant and have other clients). If they do, make sure they’re compensating you financially for the exclusivity.

Skinny thats not a nda your talking about. VC’s and the like hate NDA’s and in china they are not worth the paper they are printed on, however in HK they are fine.

I’ve signed somewhere between 100 - 1,000 nda’s. They are uniformly similar. The only statement I have contested has had to do with blanket phrases describing release of company’s information in perpetuity. I cross that out and write in “duration of this project”, or something similar that limits time.

Sorry, I was thinking of other things to watch out for in contracts that freelancers are asked to sign, non-disclosures are another story.

First, know that any clause in any contract is up for discussion…and most of the time you can amicably amend things so that all parties are comfortable with them…

A standard example: An NDA may state that you’re not allowed to disclose that you’re working with your client on a project…in any fashion. As your client list is a valuable asset, it’s probably in your best interest to make sure that you can use your client’s name for marketing and promotional purposes without fear of legal entanglements.

A non-standard example: I’ve found a line or two in a few NDAs that serves as a non-compete clause in the agreement. Generally speaking, I won’t sign anything that has a blanket non-compete clause…and NDAs are definitely NOT the place to agree to that sort of thing.

You mentioned that you usually read everything thoroughly, but I want to make sure to emphasize this point: ALWAYS read and understand a contract before you sign it. Without a clear understanding you could unwittingly sign away your rights.

Paents do have value, esp if you have the wearwithall to hunt down the infringers and gut them. Many many many patents are not worth defending, but some others can net you some seious coin. I am speaking of utilty patents, design patents are a total waste of money.

this is a ID forum, most of you are clueless to realities of patents, patent law, hell buisness for that matter. Zippy says wear that seatbelt its a 170 buck fine and if you get pulled over because your dont have it on who knows what else they may find. Veggies are overated, and if you make it to 40 yoru odds of going to 85 are damn fine, darwin picks on the young and stupid after all.

I’ll agree with Deez, a patent doesn’t guarantee protection to all who file for one. I’ll will say that it does deter some but when it comes right down to it, the piece of paper is only as good as the money behind it.

a granted patent is just grants the right to sue for compensation if you are infrindged on, winning in court is different matter.

well we’re going off topic now, but that’s life.

A patent, legally a contract between you and the government for exclusivity, offers you:

right to be identified as the inventor;
protection of your hard work and yes, the right to sue;
the right to earn through licensing or sale: probably the easiest and most lucrative method of leveraging IP.

Yep I totally agree with this. A long time scale can be a big problem.