Articles

Is Your NDA Helping You Commit a Federal Crime?

Intellectual property consists generally of patents, copyrights, trade secrets and confidential information. The unique trait of the last two forms of intellectual property is that they are only valuable while not widely known. As the world economy stresses the importance of all forms of intellectual property, non-disclosure agreements to protect trade secrets and confidential information quickly follow the handshake as the opening exchange in many potential business transactions. In addition, contracts with your employees that govern how they treat your confidential information and trade secrets, and what happens if they leave to go elsewhere, are becoming increasingly commonplace and more elaborate.

On the flip side of that issue, you hire people who may have signed those agreements with others and don’t want what they know from their former employer to be a source of problems for you. With the value of intellectual property rising, and more actual or perceived breaches of these increasingly common agreements, the inevitable call to make criminal laws part of the protection for IP has led to laws at the Federal and state level being passed, and the downside for violations of these agreements has become more severe. Learn how to handle this situation by reading through this article.

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