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Confidentiality agreements can lead to business litigation

Many Tallahassee, Florida, businesses may use confidentiality agreements to protect a number of their business interests, especially their finances, trade secrets and other closely-held information that the business relies on to give it a competitive edge.

An employer will most often use a confidentiality agreement, which also may be properly called a nondisclosure agreement, with its own employees. In this context, the agreement prevents an employee from learning valuable, and well-guarded, information from his or her employer and then changing jobs, going to a competitor and disclosing valuable information to the competition.

However, a nondisclosure agreement can be entered between a business and just about anyone with whom the business deals on a regular basis. For example, a business may consider asking independent contractors, suppliers, customers and other business organizations with whom the business collaborates to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

There are a number of ways confidentiality agreement disputes can develop, and business litigation alleging that someone has violated a nondisclosure agreement are not uncommon in Florida.

The outcome of such litigation will depend heavily on exactly what the terms of the confidentiality agreement are. By way of example, a person who has disclosed information may argue that what he or she did disclose was not really "confidential" as defined by his or her agreement.

The bottom line is that confidentiality agreement disputes can be hard to navigate in the legal arena, yet at the same time, a business may have a lot invested in the outcome of its claim. For these reasons, it is often best for a business in an argument about a confidentiality agreement to seek the assistance of an attorney with experience in handling nondisclosure agreements.

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