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Sharing is not caring – it’s in your NDA

Article by Adams & Adams

Have you been asked to present a brand concept, invention or idea to a potential investor, large retailer or big corporate? Do not disclose confidential information, new designs, ideas or inventions without appropriate protection in place – a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

You may lose the chance to obtain any protection for your intellectual property (IP) if you do not register the IP before you disclose a design or invention to another person or business.

As a general rule, confidential information can no longer be protected once it is in the public domain. You can avoid losing protection by disclosing the design, idea, invention or other confidential information to another person under the protection of a non-disclosure agreement.

Make sure it is clear that the non-disclosure agreement covers the information you are disclosing and that the terms of any non-disclosure agreement are appropriate.

If the information is valuable we recommend seeking legal advice before disclosing the information and for preparation of the agreement. Avoid downloading NDA examples from the internet as they may not be appropriate for the legal provisions required in South Africa.

If your idea is worth protecting, ask a lawyer to draw up the agreement for you. For assistance with protecting your ideas or getting an NDA in place, email

Adams & Adams is a proud Partner of the NSBC.