Patent Update: Are Your NDAs Up to Date? | AIChE

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Patent Update: Are Your NDAs Up to Date?

Patent Update

Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) can be used to protect companies’ confi dential and trade secret information.

Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) can be used to protect companies’ confidential and trade secret information. But you should resist the urge to have a vendor, contractor, or employee sign a dusty old stock NDA and assume your company is protected under all circumstances.

The law evolves and relationships change. An NDA for protecting business information may not be suitable for protecting trade secrets. And an NDA for evaluating a business opportunity may not be suitable for product development projects, contract manufacturing, or testing. So, before signing your next NDA, take the opportunity to ask: “Is this NDA up to date?”

NDAs for employees, contractors, and consultants. For NDAs with employees, contractors, and consultants, look to see if it has the whistleblower immunity notice provision from the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA).

Trade secrets used to be governed under state law. Most states enacted a form of the Unified Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) — New York being the sole holdout. The UTSA does not require any specific language in NDAs. However, Congress added another layer of federal trade secret protection in the 2016 DTSA,...

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