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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3671
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My company has come up with an online healthcare innovation.

Customer Question

Hi
My company has come up with an online healthcare innovation. We have recently had a number of meetings with web developers to discuss these ideas. We have signed NDAs with all except one who agreed verbally they would sign one once the meeting was over. We subsequently received a rough quote from them. In the meanwhile we sent them the NDA to sign and return by email. They were then quite stubborn about returning it and a couple of days later we received an email saying they cannot work on our project because "they have won a major contract".
Since then I have tried contacting them a few times which tends to result in their putting down the phone or the receptionist saying no one is available. We are now worried that our slip up on the NDA is leading them to develop these things themselves for others.
Do we have any legal ground to insist on the NDA being signed or any sort of assumed confidentiality as a result of the verbal promise in the meeting?
Thanks
Mark
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
You cannot force this developer to sign an NDA. That said if it was made explicitly clear at the meeting that the subject of the meeting was confidential then the subject matter may be covered by general laws of confidence.There are three elements to proving this (i) The information has a quality of confidence (ii) It was implied it was confidential (iii) and disclosing it would cause damage.
They would have to threaten to disclose the information for you to obtain an injunction.
There is another element to this which is you cannot protect abstract ideas as property, they need to be recorded some how (e.g developed code, a written business plan etc). Then the idea would also be covered by copyright.
Is it likely this developer could compete with you in your business? Or disclose the information to a competitor?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Thanks for your answer. Yes they could compete by developing a similar platform. They could also disclose this information to develop similar products with a competitor who they have already done work for, we have since found out. Also this was part of a written plan that was provided to them. Does this make a difference?

Also are these questions displayed to the others or is this private?

Thanks

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I will ask the administrators to close the question once we have finished.
If they have written confidential information, then you could write to them and demand that they keep it confidential and you will reserve your right to seek damages and injunctive relief if they try and disclose this material.
The fact that they have something in writing, that is obviously confidential would give you grounds to sue for breach of confidence if they were threatening to disclose it.
Kind regards
AJ