Okay, I know you’re not a lawyer, or you’re not my lawyer, and/or not licensed in my jurisdiction, etc. I just need a little preparation.
Here’s the situation. I’ve just heard that a competitor to the business I own is “reorganizing” i.e. may be going bankrupt. There may already be an offer to buy them. I’d consider making such an offer, and have told them so. They said they’re willing to meet with me to discuss it, but they will want me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
The problem is that between now and the meeting I’ll be at a conference and will have little or no opportunity to consult my lawyer (whose specialty is intellectual property, anyway, so perhaps not the best to advise on this anyway).
I’ve asked to see the NDA in advance, and if they provide it, I’ll try to get real official legal advice before the meeting. But I may not see it before the meeting. So I want to have a better understanding of NDAs, how they work, what possible pitfalls they present, and how effective they are. For instance, I’ve heard many times that NDAs really can’t be enforced. But I don’t know why that would be, if it’s true.
I also don’t quite see how my agreeing to keep quiet will help them, since I am effectively their only competition. I’m certainly interested in learning more about the inner workings of their business, but it’s not as though there are other companies out there who might benefit from this information, and they need to keep me from talking. It’s really just the two of us.
So anything you can tell me about NDAs, any references or resources you can point me to, any experiences you’ve had would be helpful. I leave for the conference on Monday.