non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a signed formal agreement in which one party agrees to give a second party confidential information about its business or products and the second party agrees not to share this information with anyone else for a specified period of time. Non-disclosure agreements are common in technology companies where products are sometimes jointly developed. (In this case, the non-disclosure agreement is often mutual or two-way.) An NDA is also sometimes used when a company seeks venture capital from potential financial backers as a way to make sure that proprietary secrets or ideas are not stolen or leaked to someone else by the prospective investors. Today, venture capitalists for Internet startups typically will not consider a company that requires a non-disclosure agreement because of the time and overhead involved (they may have dozens of business plans waiting to be read!) and because of the potential for legal liability.

A number of different kinds of non-disclosure agreements can be found on the Web using popular search engines.

This was last updated in April 2005

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Have you experienced a breach of a non-disclosure agreement? What happened?
Do this mean that if receive something and do sign a non-disclosed agreement and agree not speak about for ten years, do this mean that it can't be taken from me unless I speak about.
Timely blog post - I was fascinated by the info , Does anyone know where my business might find a template HBS Non-Disclosure Agreement example to work with ?

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