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Ministry of Education.
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Confidentiality agreements and Intellectual property

Confidentiality agreements and intellectual property

Using a confidentiality agreement

A student can use a confidentiality agreement when they are working with a client. This is best signed at the start of the business relationship when the 'ground rules' or expectations from the relationship are discussed.

There are two confidentiality agreements included on this site – one is brief to be used with most client/student relationships. The more detailed one can be used where the student is likely to further develop the product at the conclusion of the project.

Confidentiality agreement (Word, 72 KB)

Confidentiality agreement (brief) (Word, 50 KB)

An example of the use of a confidentiality agreement

A student has developed a design for a storage device that will organise and manage up to ten different rechargers for portable electronic devices. The student's client is a local electronics business whose sales representatives are required to use and demonstrate electronic devices.

The confidentiality agreement will be signed by the student (the discloser) and the manager of the business (the recipient). The information to be kept confidential is likely to include the design and the details of the storage device. The manager's signature will also bind any sales representatives from that company to confidentiality about the student's design. See clause 2(b) in the Confidentiality Agreement.

As the design progresses, the manager of the business may suggest that the student could manufacture a number of these storage devices and sell them. The student then uses the second confidentiality agreement and explores whether to undertake further IP protection such as a patent or registered design.

Developed for Technology Online from a study by Susan Corbett, Louise Starkey and Ann Bondy, Victoria University of Wellington.

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