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Confidentiality Agreements

Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog
Zies, Widerman & Malek
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UPDATED: July 31, 2013

CLICK HERE for Free Sample Non-Disclosure (NDA) Agreements

This page contains several free sample confidentiality agreements (also known as non-disclosure agreements or simply an NDA) for you to use. You can select from two simple confidentiality agreements, a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and a standard confidentiality agreement. All agreements can be used royalty free and can be modified to meet your own unique circumstances.

If you are an inventor, I also highly recommend you visit our Invention Help section, as well as the Inventors Information section of our blog, which contains basic information for newbies and pros.

It is always helpful to have a Confidentiality Agreement (sometimes referred to as a NDA or Non-disclosure Agreement) in place when you are talking to someone about your invention or otherwise disclosing sensitive information. The only time it is really unnecessary is when you are speaking with an attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice. In the situation where you are speaking with an attorney to seek legal assistance the law already imposes strict confidentiality requirements; requirements that are indeed far more stringent than any Confidentiality Agreement.

For example, in the situation where you are seeking the services of a patent attorney or a patent agent it is unnecessary to first obtain a confidentiality agreement before you disclose information about your invention.  Rules and regulations that apply to patent attorneys and patent agents requires that any confidential information provided must remain in the strictest of  confidence, and in fact United States Patent Office regulations impose far more strict confidentiality requirements than any confidentiality agreement would or could.  This is true even if you ultimately do hire the patent attorney or patent agent to represent you.  Confidentiality rules and ethics rules require that patent attorneys and patent agents must maintain all communications in confidence even when they ultimately do not represent you.  The key is that you have sought professional assistance of an attorney or agent and from that time forward all communications are privileged and must remain confidential.  For more on this topic see:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/appxr_10_57.htm#cfr37s10.57

You can verify that an individual is a patent attorney or patent agent by visiting the USPTO website at:

https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/

In all other cases a Confidentiality Agreement will save your idea or invention from being taken by others.

For more information about Confidentiality Agreements and related topics please see:

About the Author

Eugene R. Quinn, Jr.
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
US Patent Attorney (Reg. No. 44,294)
Zies, Widerman & Malek

B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University
J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center
L.L.M. in Intellectual Property, Franklin Pierce Law Center

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Gene is a US Patent Attorney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. Known by many as “The IPWatchdog.” Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had millions of unique visitors.Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, CNN Money and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.