You spend years working on an idea, you give your blood, sweat and tears to creating and growing your business – you have a truly innovative product or service – and you hire employees to work for you and you procure business partners to help you grow… and soon a lot of people have knowledge of your truly innovative product or service. How do you protect it?
One option is to have every employee, independent contractor, and business that works with you sign a Confidentiality Agreement.
Confidentiality Agreements range from a clause in a general contract to twenty page independent documents. Regardless of the size, the core of the clause or the extended document is the same – in consideration for working for or with you, the other party agrees to keep your secrets confidential.
The real teeth of the Confidentiality Agreement is not the promise to retain your idea secret itself – but the remedies you can include in the document if it is breached. These remedies include injunctive relief – the right to go to a Court and have a Judge enter an order stopping them from continuing their actions, actual damages, and/or a definitive amount of money.
Regardless of whether you “trust” the person implicitly – it is always a good idea to protect your property. After all – it wasn’t their blood, sweat and tears that built it.
May 12th through May 16th is Small Business week with the Small Business Association. To celebrate the ingenuity and hard work of small businesses, Winslow & McCurry will be posting each day this week regarding a different topic that has affected its small business clients.
If you have a question regarding business law, or are a small business and would like to seek legal advice from our small business attorneys, please contact our firm, Winslow & McCurry at 804.423.1382.