Confidentiality agreements, or non-disclosure agreements, can be very important. These employment contracts prevent one or more parties from revealing certain information about their company to competitors. Often, these are seen in business where proprietary information is at play and revealing this information would give away certain “trade secrets.”
By creating a written agreement, many future headaches can be avoided. One key advantage of creating a written confidentiality agreement is that “confidential material” or “confidential information” will be clearly defined. Creating this clear definition avoids ambiguity, which is one main cause of litigation in employment contract law.
With the help of a dedicated attorney, you can develop the right confidentiality agreement for your business. You may find it beneficial to discuss your options with a St. Louis confidentiality agreements lawyer right away.
There are many different examples of confidentiality agreements. While the form and language of these contracts can vary, each of these agreements shares some important points. A St. Louis attorney can help ensure a confidentiality agreement has all the language necessary to protect a business and its trade secrets.
These agreements begin by identifying the important parties. This includes the Disclosing Party, which is the employer, as well as the Receiving Party, or the employee. The agreement will also define a date for when the contract goes into effect. Confidentiality agreements also include a clause explaining the Receiving Party’s obligations, which include keeping trade secrets confidential.
Perhaps the most important aspect of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements is the designation of trade secrets and exceptions. Not every part of a business is a trade secret and, therefore, cannot be protected by these agreements. For example, a business with a physical location that is known to the public cannot treat that location as a trade secret.
Confidentiality agreements often set out not only what is a trade secret, but also what is not. Certain exceptions can be spelled out in a non-disclosure agreement to provide both parties with clarity.
State law governs some of the terms that may be included in confidentiality agreements. Specifically, the Missouri Uniform Trade Secrets Act regulates non-disclosure agreements as they pertain to trade secrets.
Under state law, a trade secret is considered to be any information that is not generally known to the public and which has economic value. This information should be something that a competitor could not easily figure out on their own. Examples of trade secrets include:
If an employee under a confidentiality agreement shares this unique information, the consequences could be significant. In fact, merely threatening to violate the terms of a non-disclosure agreement could result in legal action. A business owner could be entitled to punitive damages from the employee if the agreement was breached. A St. Louis attorney can help draft a confidentiality agreement that effectively protects trade secrets.
If you are concerned about the public release of sensitive business information, having your employees sign confidentiality agreements could be in your best interest. These agreements provide employees with clear guidance on their responsibilities as well as consequences for unlawful disclosures.
If you are ready to develop the right non-disclosure agreement for your business, you do not have to create it on your own. Call right away to learn how a St. Louis confidentiality agreements lawyer can help.