Patent Confidentiality Letter

Our Patent Confidentiality Letter Template:

  • Simple to complete
  • In plain English
  • Drafted by an expert UK lawyer
  • Money-back guarantee
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How Does It Work?

  • 1. Download
  • 2. Edit
  • 3. Print
  • 4. Sign

Do you feel like you have designed or invented the next big thing? If you do and you plan on getting a patent for your design, idea, or invention you should definitely have everyone involved with the project sign the patent confidentiality letter (except for your professional advisers, such as solicitors, who are already under a duty of confidentiality to their clients). You wouldn’t want to take any chances with having your patent application made void if something was disclosed prematurely in an insecure manner.

If your idea or invention was leaked or disclosed without your permission, you could lose the validity of the patent application. The patent confidentiality letter that we have on our website was drafted by a UK lawyer. It is in clear terms that are easy to understand and use. You can buy with confidence, knowing that the template is cost-effective and legally binding.

When you are trying to get help from a third party, such as an investor, or just garner some interest in your idea or product, you need to have it protected. Ideas are not protected by copyright. You don’t want someone to disclose any of this information or to steal your idea before you can get a patent on it. By having anyone that you may deem necessary to the project sign the patent confidentiality letter, you will not only protect the idea but you will be protecting the entire patent process.

We have a full range of confidentiality agreements – click on this link to see them.

Using our Patent Confidentiality Letter template

Our patent confidentiality letter has been designed so that everything remains safe during the patent application process. If you need to be specific in the patent confidentiality letter, then it can easily be customised to fit your exact needs. Because you are able to download this template, you can use it again and again and change it to your needs as often as you like. We have drafted the document so that everything you need is in it. Therefore you won’t have to do much customising, making our template even easier for you to use.

Guide to our template

Our Patent Confidentiality Letter template is for use by a party who has agreed with a second party to release sensitive or confidential information to the second party about:

  1. an actual registered patent;
  2. a patent application that has been filed but is still pending; or
  3. an idea that might later be the subject of a patent application.

The information would be released only on condition that it is not misused or disclosed to others by the second party.

Confidentiality provisions, such as those in this template, are often required to protect ideas and other sensitive information. Copyright laws may extend a basic protection to some data and other information, but the ideas or concepts behind information need to be protected by as ideas or concepts themselves are not protected by copyright. You should not disclose such information verbally or in writing until you have a signed confidentiality letter in place. Information about patents might be particularly valuable and is unprotected until a patent application has been granted.

Inventors should be very wary about sharing their ideas until a patent has been granted. Even after the patent has been granted there may be a need for a confidentiality agreement of some sort relating to other secret information or in case the patent filed was not worded very well.

Clauses in this Patent Confidentiality Letter

1. Interpretation – This clause defines the main terms used in the letter.

  • Confidential Information – This states what constitutes confidential information – amend the words in square brackets if need be, so that they refer to the types of information that might be disclosed under this letter.
  • Copies – This ensures that any Confidential Information on computer media, etc is covered, and not just hard copies.
  • Discloser – Here fill in the details of the party sending the letter. If they are a person and not a company, use the following format: “[NAME] of [ADDRESS]”.
  • Permitted Purpose – Complete the details of what the purpose is of the recipient’s receiving this information – see our suggested words in square brackets in this definition. If the information relates to a registered patent, then delete the words “potential OR pending”. If it relates to a pending patent application that has been filed but not yet granted, then delete the words “potential OR”. If no application has yet been filed, then delete the words “OR pending”.
  • Recipient – Here fill in the details of the party the letter is addressed to. If they are a person and not a company, use the following format: “[NAME] of [ADDRESS]”.

2. Purpose and use of disclosed information – Clause 2.2 provides that the confidential information is only to be used for the permitted purpose. Clause 2.3 provides that any information disclosed prior to the date the letter is signed is also to be protected. Please note however that this is not ideal, and may not work if you did not state verbally that the information was to be kept confidential at the time it was disclosed – you should only disclose sensitive information after both parties have signed such an letter. Clause 2.4 extends the protection to any copies the recipient makes as part of the permitted purpose, and states that the discloser can require the originals and all copies to be returned, destroyed or erased.

3. Obligations – In addition to clauses 2.2 and 5, this clause sets out the rules for the protection of the confidential information – what the recipient can and cannot do.

4. Exceptions – This clause acknowledges that if the information has lost its characteristic of being confidential, the protection of the letter no longer applies to it. It is therefore important that the discloser is careful to maintain the secrecy of its information. These exceptions are standard provisions.

5. Permitted third party disclosure – This clause restricts the recipient passing on the information, even to members of staff. Choose which of the 2 options in clause 5.1.1 you prefer – the first is the more restrictive.

6. Copies – This clause means that copies must be limited in number, protected by the recipient and owned by the discloser.

7. Forced disclosure – In exceptional cases a court or other governmental authority having special powers might order disclosure of the information by the recipient. The recipient will have to comply if this is the case, but clause 7.2 sets some steps that must be taken first to demonstrate this is the case.

8. Term and termination – Even though the terms of this letter can be terminated by either party on notice, the confidentiality provisions will survive and remain in place without a time limit.