Call 801-829-8446 to schedule a free consultation

Do I need a NDA to talk with an attorney?

A common question I get from startups, inventors, entrepreneurs, and others starting new businesses who haven't worked with attorneys previously is whether they need a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to talk with an attorney.

In most circumstance, I recommend a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect the business's idea as they are shared with others. However, attorneys are governed by strict rules and codes of professional conduct relating to communications with clients. Think of this as a built-in NDA when talking with your attorney. But, what if you wish to consult with a few different patent attorneys before hiring the right one? Most state bar ethical rules including something along the lines of providing protections if the attorney’s words or actions induce an individual to reasonably believe that the individual is consulting an attorney in confidence and in his professional capacity to retain the attorney or to obtain legal services or advice.

If you’re still uncomfortable sharing the details of your invention, then keep the communications general. For example, you can share the general terms of your idea: “I have an idea for a new [device/app] to be used in/by [field/industry]." By only disclosing the general idea and not the details, the IP attorney can suggest next steps, costs, and timelines without getting into any potential conflicts of interest.

Note, if you are speaking to a patent agent, it is wise to have an NDA signed before disclosing your idea since patent agents are not lawyers.

Related Posts

Can I do a copyright search?
Can I do a copyright search?
One of the best resources for searching for whether something is copyrighted is the Library of Congress Copyright Off...
Read More
Can I do a sequel to someone else's book or movie?
Can I do a sequel to someone else's book or movie?
Writing a sequel to a book or movie Got the perfect idea for the next big movie or book in a series? Do you need per...
Read More
Where to find copyright-free music
Where to find copyright-free music
Finding Copyright-Free Music The perfect music or background noise can really bring projects to life. Music can make...
Read More

← Older Post Newer Post →



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published