Nondisclosure Agreements And Limited Competition Agreements: Protecting Trade Secrets And Sensitive Information
Nondisclosure agreements, also known as confidentiality agreements or NDAs, are a valuable tool for businesses. They protect your intellectual property rights and competitive edge. They reassure your clients and also protect your business if an employee or ex-employee divulges confidential information.
However, both limited competition and nondisclosure agreements are under increasing scrutiny, especially when employment is conditional on signing an NDA. It is critical that your employment contracts and confidentiality clauses be carefully written to comply with the law and withstand legal challenges. The experienced business law attorneys of Epstein & Weil LLC draft and review and have litigated NDAs for business clients throughout New York City, including vetting of job prospects who are governed by an existing NDA.
How A Business Can Make The Most Of An NDA
As an employer, you understand that your employees are critical to your success because they are intimately familiar with your business and products. Our firm helps your business create dependable nondisclosure agreements that protect your interests.
Understanding The Scope And Limits Of An NDA
The primary purpose of nondisclosure agreements is protection of trade secrets. This can range from proprietary technologies and manufacturing processes to client lists and sensitive financial information. The NDA is a contract with the employee (or a key vendor or trade partner) to keep that information secret during employment and – perhaps more importantly – after the employment relationship or business transaction ends. If the agreement is breached, the employer can pursue injunctive relief or sue for damages.
Nondisclosure agreements, like other restrictive covenants, can go too far. If the language is overly broad or vague, a court may deem it unenforceable. The lawyers of Epstein & Weil LLC stay abreast of changes in the law and decisions in the state and federal courts to advise clients on how to protect their trade secrets without crossing the line.
Hiring Someone Who Is Subject To A Prior NDA Or Limited Competition/Employment Limitation Agreement
The widespread use of nondisclosure agreements and a highly mobile workforce mean that many potential hires are governed by an NDA from their previous employer. This need not deter you from hiring an otherwise qualified candidate, but caution is essential. Our attorneys can review the prior NDA to identify any potential conflicts, advise on what may constitute “trade secrets,” and protect your company from claims of unfair competition or tortious interference with contract. Whether you are an employer or a potential employee, knowing your rights and the limitations of an existing or proffered NDA are critical. Your new employee should not be unduly muzzled or prevented from applying skills and knowledge they acquired in their previous position. We help clients navigate this difficult and rapidly changing area of the law.