Protecting your intellectual property

An interesting discussion came up recently in the Microbrand Watches group on how to protect your intellectual property and design features when working with a contract manufacturer. Group member Brian from Webbem kindly offered a copy of his non disclosure agreement (NDA) and the following handy tips to any aspiring micro brand creators.

‘The difficulty many watch makers face is that there are seldom genuinely different design elements. You can usually find similar designs somewhere in other watch designs. So it is very difficult to protect a design only.

Sometimes, you just need to not worry too much about protection of a design and move forward in getting it to market, it will be copied sooner or later by someone.

I have seen lengthy versions and in past years I have tried to use long elaborate agreements myself. But to be honest especially in China, few factories have the patience (and sometimes the language ability) to read strongly legal worded agreements and they usually refuse.

The key is to keep things simple and straightforward, with simple English. This way you are likely to have the agreement in place.’

Disclaimer: No claim is made to this being a 100% safe approach, readers should seek independent advice and use at their own risk.

Download a copy of Brian’s Template Non Disclosure Agreement.

For some more tips take a look at Blackline Review’s Simple NDA Do’s and Don’ts