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Richard J. Lambert was named by Best Lawyers® as a 2021 Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

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Trade secrets can be protected by written agreements

Business owners in New Jersey who have trade secrets to protect could be interested in the following information. Protecting against disclosure of trade secrets can be accomplished through the use of a contractual agreement. The two types of agreements are generally used are non-compete agreements and non-disclosure agreements.

An NDA is also known as a secrecy agreement, confidentiality agreement, or a confidentiality disclosure agreement. It is a legal contractual agreement that involves two or more parties. An NDA summarizes the classified materials or trade secrets that the parties to the NDA agreement plan to share with each other, but not with everyone else. In the agreement, the parties are agreeing not to share the information related to the agreement with any outside parties.

A non-compete agreement is a contract that is used for preventing an individual from going into competition with a business following completing the sale of a business or leaving a company as an employee. A non-compete clause is often integrated into an employment contract to protect a business owner from potentially unfair competition by an ex-employee or previous business owner. They are usually implemented when hiring new employees or when buying an already established business from someone else. Most courts will look at the geographical and time scope of such a clause to determine if it is reasonable before ruling on its validity. In many cases, a contractual agreement will include both non-competition and non-disclosure clauses.

Anyone who is in business and has questions regarding the protection of this type of intellectual property could possibly use the help of an attorney who has experience in business and commercial law. A consultation could help to prevent getting embroiled in trade secret litigation later.

Source: National Paralegal College , “Contractual Agreements Protecting Trade Secrets“, October 30, 2014

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New York, NY 10019

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