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Signing a Disclosure Agreement

PerfectoPerfecto subscriber Posts: 1
I contacted American Greetings Corporation which invited me to share my invention with them but they will not sign a NDA.  In fact, they want me to sign their "Disclosure Agreement" which states that they will not accept my subission in confidence.  They will not agree to keep it secret or confidential.  I checked out the company on BBB and they have good standing.  Is it safe to submit my idea to such a well known company like American Greetings without a Non-Disclosure Agreement. 
     The main thing that concerns me is a statement in their agreement that says, "Nevertheless, we are sometimes willing to discuss with people not in the employ of our company any ideas, writings, or designs which might lead us to even greater creativity."  It almost sounds like they would use my idea to further their own ideas rather than consider a licensing agreement.
Edit:  I filed a provisional patent on my invention
Perfecto4/25/2009 4:18 PM


  • CarstenJacobsenCarstenJacobsen subscriber Posts: 0
    I`ve heard about companies which would not sign NDAs before. The reason is usually that they want to protect themselves. If they sign a NDA and you present your idea to them, and they are working on something similar at the same time, that could lead to a conflict. So usually it’s not because they want to take advantage of your ideas without paying you – it’s more a question of protecting what they are working on themselves.
    I hope this makes sense to you - it could explain their attitude.
  • PerfectoPerfecto subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks a whole heap Carsten Jacobsen!  It does make sense and it fits into what the rest of their agreement says.  Sounds like the main question for me then is whether or not I want to protect my right to obtain a non-provisional patent (full patent) after my provisional patent expires.
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    The best assumption is that the provisional application is worthless, unless you are a patent attorney.
  • PerfectoPerfecto subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for your reply James but I`m not sure what you mean.  Are you saying that I should assume that my provisional application is worthless unless I`m a patent attorney?  I`m 100% confident in my provisional application and also in my ability and determination to enforce my rights accordingly if that`s what you mean.
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