What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement? A non-disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement is used when you have an unpatented idea that you need to show to a third party and you want that party to not reveal any information about your idea. Grab our generic NDA in MS Word format.
The inventor is the one who usually provides the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) at the meeting.
In summary, the other party signs that he/she will not disclose any of the information about your invention, except under terms as described in the contract, and will not market the idea or compete with you.
Having a meeting or discussion about your invention, without an NDA, would constitute a public disclosure. You then would only have one year to file for a patent or forever lose that right.
Do not use an NDA lightly. Only approach third parties when you have to (i.e. you need a prototype built and you can’t do it yourself).
Even with an NDA, still only talk about your invention them with people whose integrity you can trust. Even with a person you trust, always sign an NDA before discussing your invention.
NDAs are the cheapest form of protection for an invention you can use, but they are not a substitute for a patent application. Do not rely on them to protect you.
NDAs are contracts that are controlled by state law, some states find NDAs invalid.
Consider having a lawyer write your NDA.
A lawyer can also help you draw a contract which is suitable to both parties. Many large companies routinely refuse to sign an NDA, fearing that it may later result in a lawsuit.