NDA vs Patents
An NDA can prevent people from talking about the concept but it doesn't give you a legal claim over the project or concept. A patent would allow you to not only claim rights to the product but to sue competitors who copy your exact design without proper credit or payment. In that, I think both are necessary. An NDA being necessary to prevent your idea from being shared, and a patent to protect your idea upon creating it.
NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement is simply a contract. If that contract is violated in any way, there is a chance to sue the one who violated the contract. They are not bulletproof, but they can offer some protection against some violations on the contract terms. A patent is basically the best legal protection against intellectual theft. Patent s a federal document proving ownership of an idea, thus providing the ultimate protection given from the federal government.
Non-Disclosure Agreement only gives a limited level of protection but a patent offers you a legally binding, enforceable-by-stiff-penalties PROOF of idea ownership. An NDA can provide you with a level of protection. In fact, if someone signs an NDA with you and then breaches that contract, you have all the right in the world to sue them. Patents provide proof that you own the idea entirely. This is much evident proof to legally have your idea.
The difference between a patent and a NDA is that a patent is a federal document proving ownership of an idea, while an NDA is a contract between two people. In other words, NDA’s recognize the people whose signatures are on the contract, while patents recognize you are the sole owner of this idea. If you sign a NDA with a friend but the friend turns around and tells his friend about it and that friend decides to steal your idea, you would not be able to sue your friends friend because there is no agreement between you and the friend. A patent would be the "ultimate protection" because it is a universal document that proves the idea or product is yours and only yours.
I believe our classmates accurately defined the difference. I'd simply want to point out that sometimes a concept isn't evolved enough to warrant a patent application. In these instances, having an NDA and applying for a provisional patent, which is a legal document submitted before the developed patent to secure an early filing date and protect the concept, is recommended, but the patent must be filed with the USPTO.
As learned this week, it is important to protect our ideas and inventions and to do so in the appropriate legal manner. Part of the lesson discussed Non-disclosure agreements, or contracts, and how they can help protect our ideas.
Based on what we know about patents, is an NDA a substitute for a patent? What is the difference between the two, and when is either one needed? One could say that both working together can give you the ultimate protection, but there should be cases when one isn't necessary.
I do not believe that a Non Disclosure Agreement is a substitute for a patent. A patent protects your product from being copied for a certain amount of time. However the main difference is that a patent is public knowledge. Anyone can access patents and therefore, while there is still protection, others will still know. A NDA ensures that employees do not discuss any of the work to other companies since it is contract bound and they can be sued if found to be breaking the contract.
Therefore, in short combining the two can be use in the circumstance in which there are other technologies which are not yet patented in the company and therefore an NDA would prove to be useful.
The difference between an NDA and a Patent is that one is a federal document while the other is a supporting legal contact. An NDA is used by various companies for different reasons while a Patent is a federal document assuring that the product you have created is yours. A patent will give you ownership and sole custody of the device while the non-disclosure agreement will make sure the person signing the contract will not speak about the discussion. Signing an NDA could require the companies representative to be present while the United States Patent and trademark office will issue the patent.
There are a few key differences between an NDA and patent. An NDA is used to prevent a party or individual from revealing information talked, discovered or researched at one institution usually from a competitor. This is a way for the institution you work for to ensure the information they share with you and enable you to partake in remains confidential. A patent is a process for an individual or company to declare their idea as their own. This process protects the inventor from any entity unlawfully using your idea or invention. Ultimately, a patent is used to protect a party's idea from any non-licensed user while an NDA protects an entity's idea from being released beyond the company bounds.
An NDA is by no means a substitute for a patent. A patent is something that is essentially purchased from the government to protect your ideas from being directly copied and used to make profit off of. An NDA is a non-disclosure agreement, which is given to employees of a company to tell them that there is specific information about the company and its products/processes that can not be discussed outside of the company. If an NDA is broken the person liable for the breach of NDA is the employee who signed the contract and they can be liable for a law suite or even criminal charges depending on who the agreement is signed with. If a patent is infringed upon, the person liable is the person trying to steal the idea and market it for themselves, which again that person would be liable for the infringement and could be sued or have to pay fees for using the idea. The biggest difference is that your idea is protected by the government no matter what happens with a patent. With an NDA, if someone were to come up with the same idea as you and it was not due to someone who signed an NDA telling you, the other company has the right to use your idea without backlash. I do believe that in most cases, if someone with an NDA tries to steal an idea or sell the idea to another company, the other company does not have the right to use that idea because it was obtained in an illegal fashion.
No an NDA is not an substitute for a patent. While an NDA gives you a limited level of protection (which in many cases can easily be bypassed), a patent offers you rock-solid, legally binding, enforceable-by-stiff-penalties proof of idea ownership. Whereas a patent is a federal document proving ownership of an idea, an NDA is simply a contract between two people.
Both federal and state laws require patent attorneys to keep clients' and potential clients' information confidential. When a patent attorney signs such an agreement, it only duplicates an obligation that the law has already imposed upon all patent attorneys. So, if it makes one more comfortable, they can ask a patent attorney to sign an NDA before discussing the idea but it’s not really necessary.