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   Author  Topic: Consulting and IP  (Read 1261 times)
Eric Schumacher
Consulting and IP
« on: Jul 15th, 2005, 1:28pm »
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Several months ago, I entered into a contract to produce several different types of acrylic products based on 3-Demensional Subsurface Engraving.  We provided the company our requirements and agreed to pay this company a consulting fee to develop this new line of products for us.  This type of manufacturing process has never been done before at this company, although they do perform other types of laser etching, etc.  After a number of iterations, we may be at a point where an actual process has been developed.  This process will be used to our company with a competitive advantage in several different product lines.  The Production & Pricing Agreement (what they consider an NDA) that we signed with this company provides that they are our exclusive manufacturing partner for 3 years.  In addition, this contract has the following language:
“Both parties agree to: a). Keep such proprietary and confidential information confidential, using at least the same degree of care that it would normally use in protecting its own proprietary and confidential information of a similar nature; b). Not to copy or to cause to made copies of such proprietary and confidential information, in whole or in part, for any disclosure thereof whether directly or indirectly to any third party; c). Not to use, or allow to used, such proprietary and confidential information, in whole or in part, except solely in relation to the purposes of current business operations; and; d). Not to disclose any information which is communicated orally on a basis of confidentiality and subsequently presented in a tangible or visible form; or any business negotiations, discussions, consultations or agreements in progress.”
It is our belief that once we have finalized the manufacturing process and have paid the consulting fees, that the manufacturing process that has been developed is and should be considered ‘Intellectual Property’ of our company. Additionally, it is our belief that this company can not use the knowledge gained from our processes to develop similar processes for their company’s financial gain.  Well, at least not for 3 years.  Thanks for the information….
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