Confidentiality Agreements for innovative uses of commercial software


I have a startup music business where I can produce, but am not limited to, an entire 18-piece big-band ala Hoyt Curtin ("The Jetsons", "Flintstones" etc.) overnight without any recording expenses to the client -saving them thousands.

I'm considering to hire/ train someone to do what I do under a confidentiality agreement. I use commercial software in a unique way to achieve the above results.

Question: Obviously, I can't patent a key-stroke or software's built-in functionality but how then do I protect my idea while expanding the company? In other words, is it even possible to successfully shape a confidentiality agreement to prevent this person from using my trade secret for any of his own freelance musical productions if it involves commercially available software that I'm using in a way that other's haven't thought of yet?

Thanks much

Legal Intellectual Property NDA Music

asked Jun 7 '11 at 11:04
88 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans

1 Answer


Your agreement with the individual you have chosen needs to include not only confidentiality provisions but, also, provisions assigning to you everything the individual creates for you, including all intellectual property rights therein. For more on this topic, please see Why “Work Made for Hire” is a Term Made for Confusion.

I see that you are in NY, so non-compete provisions are germane, but I don't have a lot to say about that, because I'm in CA, where non-competes are enforced only under narrowly-defined circumstances.

answered Jun 8 '11 at 05:18
Dana Shultz
6,015 points
  • thx much. So you mean I have to move my company to Hollywood where laws are upheld? :-D But seriously, thanks for the link. What I'm gathering is that everything in the agreement has to be spelled out clearly to have any sort of chance of being upheld in court. May be a bad question, but would you say that in NY, a videotaped conversation between the owner and the independent contractor going over the agreement (in plain English) workout better than a non-compete provision? – Gregarious 13 years ago
  • Edited you link with real one. I noted you always put obfuscated links to you site. – Ross 13 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Legal Intellectual Property NDA Music