Is a NDA binding between father and son if this was only agreed verbally? 7 Answers as of April 03, 2012

Is a NDA binding between father and son if this was only agreed verbally; and in a general sense covering all business matters while the business is being developed? I understood verbal contracts to be limited to a single day. However, there was a past relationship, father and son, including previously founding companies under strict verbal NDA agreement. My invention was disclosed in email, including intent to patent, and the other party stole and licensed this commercially. No patent was filed; given breach of NDA provisions. Our family relation is since estranged.

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DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
Verbal agreements between two parties, without any witness or other means of memorializing the same, are problematic because there is no direct way to prove that which is the agreement. Some states require that certain transactions must be in writing to be enforceable. A verbal agreement is enforceable, if you can prove the existence of the agreement with evidence, notes taken at the time, correspondence with other persons about the agreement.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/3/2012
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
This is not patent or IP law - this is contract law and differs state by state. Pls consult a local attorney.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/29/2012
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
An oral NDA is usually not enforceable because it violates the statutes of frauds. Nonetheless if you have lab notebooks or other documents proving that you are the inventor you would have a good chance of prevailing.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/27/2012
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Most NDA's are an agreement and not a contract to do, or not do, a particular task. Most NDA's also are used as a business tool to ensure confidentiality between the parties. In business if a company breaches the NDA the penalty my be result in no future work. The current rule with the US patent office is First to File and invention. If you had an NDA and you filed a patent application that issued as a patent you could then sue for patent infringement. Breeching a typical Verbal or written NDA has not penalty unless there was some specific penalty was included in a signed NDA.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2012
Ochoa and Associates
Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
While verbal agreements can be valid, generally, non-disclosure agreements are usually technical and need to be proven. So, I think you would have a hard time proving a verbal NDA in a court setting. Your prior relationship with your father can be a factor the court will consider, but only one of several. I am not familiar with a valid verbal one day NDA . There are written NDA's having a term of disclosure for one day only to allow the parties to discuss confidential matters. But the term of obligation is usually longer than one day.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/25/2012
    Shimokaji & Associates
    Shimokaji & Associates | Michael Shimokaji
    An NDA can be verbal, but you will likely have a difficult time proving it in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2012
    Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
    The family relationship may be relevant as your father was in a position of trust, but you should have had a signed written NDA. However, you may still be able to rely on the verbal NDA, but the proof will be harder than with a signed NDA.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2012
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