How Do I Protect My Idea from Being Stolen?
There are many issues surrounding patents, such as confidentiality, assignment, and licensing. USLegal sells forms for issues such as confidentiality, assignment, and licensing, but the forms for applying for the patent itself are issued through the federal government, and vary according to the type of item being patented.
Just as other attorneys are sworn to uphold client attorney confidentiality intellectual property attorneys must maintain the confidentiality of the topics discussed. Some courts have hesitated to include all the technical info you might impart to a patent attorney as subject to attorney-client privilege, and most foreign countries bar patents if you've made a "public disclosure" of the invention. Many of these potential problems can be avoided by signing a simple non-disclosure agreement with the attorney at the initial interview, and the attorney could structure the agreement to accommodate conflicts checks, etc. Such an agreement could simplify matters for both the attorney and prospective client.
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Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements are used to impose confidentiality obligations on parties receiving information on materials from disclosing parties which consider such information or material to be confidential. The agreement may contain terms that prohibit the disclosure of confidential information and competition with your business. The employment of the individual is typically considered adequate consideration to make the contract enforceable. If another employer is aware of the agreement and intentionally seeks to interfere with its terms, it may be possible that that employer is liable for damages for intentional interference with a contract.
A licensing agreement is a legal contract between two parties, known as the licensor and the licensee. In a typical licensing agreement, the licensor grants the licensee the right to produce and sell goods, apply a brand name or trademark, or use patented technology owned by the licensor. In exchange, the licensee usually submits to a series of conditions regarding the use of the licensor's property and agrees to make payments known as royalties.
A trade name registration may also be sought if there are plans to market the idea. An assumed name is the name under which a company conducts its business. Assumed name is also known as a trade name, corporate name, or business name. An assumed name identifies the business itself, and trademarks identify the goods or services sold by the business.
States require the registration of assumed names when doing business under a name other than a legal name, in order that the true identity of a company/person can be found. A state will register or reserve an assumed name as long as it is not identical (or near-identical) to a name already registered. However, a trademark that is far less similar to an existing trademark than near-identical can infringe a prior mark.