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Rumors and Non-Disclosure Agreements

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On Saturday, Mashable added another rumored feature to the growing list of iPhone 5 modifications. The CEO of Sony, Sir Howard Stringer, confirmed that Sony is manufacturing a camera sensor that will be used in the iPhone 5. Production of the sensor has been delayed due to the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. It is now assumed that there will be an 8-megapixel image sensor for the iPhone 5.

Danielle Liss While most people were looking at the infographic summing up the rumored iPhone features, I was thinking about non-disclosure agreements. (I have an Android phone; I’m not always in lawyer mode.) If this was truly a slip, Stringer could be facing serious consequences if there was an NDA in place. But, as Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios was quick to point out on Twitter during a brief discussion, no one ever seems to get sued when these Apple leaks happen. So, no NDA or planned?

Non-Disclosure Agreements

NDAs are contracts between two or more parties, companies or individuals, that define confidential information and how access to confidential information should be restricted. This type of agreement is frequently used to protect trade secrets, which are generally not known to the public and by which competitors could gain an advantage if such information was made public.

An NDA may be used by companies that are considering entering a business relationship, but wish to protect their confidential information until a final determination is made. In some cases, employers may use NDAs with their employees.

Contents of a Non-Disclosure Agreement
The NDA must define who is a party to the agreement. Next, the NDA will typically define what is considered confidential information. It is important to note that information that was already available to the public will not be considered confidential. The parties may agree to other terms that tweak the definition of what information was public. If a dispute arises, the definition of public information could play a critical role in resolving a dispute.

An NDA must also define what the confidential information may be used for and how it should be maintained. It is common that an NDA will request that confidential information be returned if the parties sever the business relationship.

NDA agreements often contain a provision for liquidated damages. If the NDA is violated, there will be a set figure that the violating party is required to pay.

The Impact on Social Media
NDAs are commonly used between brands and the bloggers who promote them. If you sign an NDA, ensure that you only share the information that you are permitted to disclose. Do not share any future advertising campaign information or product releases with your audience or even your family. Don’t try to bolster your SEO by using keywords for a future campaign that is about to be released that you have inside information on. This type of activity could easily backfire, leaving you in breach of the NDA and with a severed relationship with your brand.

Conclusion
NDAs are commonly used. If you have questions about the terms, ask before you sign. Most importantly, protect the confidentiality that you’ve agreed to and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Danielle Liss is a lawyer from Las Vegas. Danielle will be speaking at Blog World East on contract law for bloggers. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for FitFluential, Inc. This is provided for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.


Feedback

3
  • Black Seo Guy

    Yea we all use them..even though sometimes its just a waste of time..but you have to go legal.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • JoAnn in Philly

    Excellent, thought provoking post.

  • Jennifer

    Such great information! Danielle is awesome and REAL She doesn’t fill things with legal jargon that makes no sense and isn’t saying anything. She is direct, to the point, and brilliant. Thanks girl! :)

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