OT Do you guys ever get NDA's to sign that make you laugh?
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  1. #1
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    Default OT Do you guys ever get NDA's to sign that make you laugh?

    Good morning All:
    So a couple of days ago, I got a visit from a young industrial designer.
    Nice fellow, knows a bit, but clearly out of his depth when it comes to process engineering.

    So he picks my brain for an hour or so and I tolerate him because he seems eager to learn and genuinely at a loss as to how to approach his project.

    Well today I got an NDA by email from him that I'm supposed to sign so he can reveal his big secret...the same secret I just helped him figure out for free two days ago.

    I'm amused but also a bit incredulous at his effrontery.
    I'm debating whether to humour him or just blow him off with neglect.

    What say ye all?

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

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    My best guess would be that he either got in trouble with his higher-ups and is trying to cover his tracks, or he needs an NDA to officially place an order for the secret thing. Since you helped him figure everything out, he knows that you can do it. I personally would take it as a good sign, unless the language of the NDA itself was sufficiently savage to give me pause.

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    Whatever you do, DO NOT sign anything.
    Sounds like some crazy scam/legal trap.

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    I had to sign a nda to get my current position lol.

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    I get NDA's all the time but mostly from tier 1/OEM customers. Some are not official NDA forms but the same terminology is used and they cannot show me any prints until I have it filled out and on file with them.

    Not a big deal at all. It sounds like maybe it is actually getting to a serious point and they want to start the purchase order process. Its just a way to make sure you dont share information you obtained from him that would harm his business and cause it financial losses.

    Or maybe it is some goof ball who dreams too much and came into some cash. You be the judge. Most of the time you can tell if someone is legit just by talking to them for 15 min. You had a whole hour.

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    When I was a project manager working with a bunch of different companies I signed an NDA every damn day it seemed like. I don't even notice them. I have signed them just to look at the legs on a piece of furniture.

    Even if the wording is so broad that you couldn't like mention that he was at your shop those are the easiest to get thrown out if they decide to make a big deal out of it.

    In short, it's nothing.

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    Respond with an invoice for your consulting fees.

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    I've signed enough in my time, but have also seen some that try to protect what I consider to be common knowledge in a trade. If the wording looks like it could prevent you from doing something you already know about, point it out and have suitable language added. You can often push back on these things and if they raise a stink you may not want them for a customer.

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    The last utterly derisory NDA I had, I rang the guy up and said ''But you've left out when I can go for a shit'' ..........................and when he spluttered I told him ''I'm not getting constipated for you.''

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    I had one where the employer wanted me to never work in the trade ever again after working for them.

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    I'd revise it to be reasonable, then sign it and return it. I've done this before and never had a complaint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAG 180 View Post
    I had one where the employer wanted me to never work in the trade ever again after working for them.

    I had an employer try to get everyone to sign something like that. Not only not work for a competitor, but not work in the same field. That seemed a bit much for an engineering/manufacturing company. An attorney I consulted said it was unenforceable since state law specifically precluded those broad terms. The guys balked and the employer eventually gave up.

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    Burn the fing thing and forget about it. All the previous post are about employment and contracts. This is a trap.

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    we don't know the nature of his relationship with you or your firm.

    If a complete stranger you helping out of goodness, blow him off....time he learned people don't sign something unless you have something they want. If this was a school project, he should have covered that upfront.

    on second thought, If it is a school project, after he's learned what he did wrong, yeah maybe sign it (if standard) if not doing so stops his project. Life is easier leaving a trail of goodwill instead of bodies

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    There seems to be some confusion about non-disclosure vs. non-compete. Non-competes aren't even legal in most states (though that won't stop many employers from distributing them).

    I am asked to sign NDA's constantly. I have one for almost every single customer. Not really a big deal. Generally the major takeaway is "don't share our prints". Seems like most are stuffed full of legal jargon that comes straight out of a boiler-plate document somewhere. My assumption is that they are attempting to establish some type of legal ground if you and the customer get involved in an IP dispute.

    Agreed that possibly the NDA came later when the kid was either advised to put one together, or told by a higher-up that he had to. Again, not really a big deal unless you plan on selling a trade secret to somebody else.

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    Hi All:
    It appears I've misrepresented the situation a bit; this guy is an independent industrial designer with his own company.
    He is not an employee of "Big Firm Inc"

    The NDA is between his company and mine; it's the usual boilerplate with nothing in it to alarm me about signing it.

    I just thought it kinda weird that after picking my brain to give him the means to move forward with his widget, now he thinks I might steal his precious "Intellectual Property" from him and rape him while I go on to glory and riches.
    There appears to be no limit to some peoples paranoia...on the other hand, maybe he learned it in Industrial Design School...Always Always Always get an NDA from your vendors even if you don't know shit from Shinola and you're pickin' your vendor's brains.

    BTW, just for the record; I have no interest whatsoever, in being world dominant in this particular widget.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAG 180 View Post
    I had one where the employer wanted me to never work in the trade ever again after working for them.
    They're the best sort because any lawyer asked to enforce it will just laugh at the client. That's restraint of trade and totally illegal.

    I've signed a ton of them. I usually modify them to say that nothing in the document applies to my use and application of any prior knowledge of tools, techniques and state of the art.

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    Good morning All:
    So a couple of days ago, I got a visit from a young industrial designer.
    Nice fellow, knows a bit, but clearly out of his depth when it comes to process engineering.

    So he picks my brain for an hour or so and I tolerate him because he seems eager to learn and genuinely at a loss as to how to approach his project.

    Well today I got an NDA by email from him that I'm supposed to sign so he can reveal his big secret...the same secret I just helped him figure out for free two days ago.

    I'm amused but also a bit incredulous at his effrontery.
    I'm debating whether to humour him or just blow him off with neglect.

    What say ye all?

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
    I generally do not sign NDA's, simply because there is nothing in it for me. I would if it was a large company I had previously done business with and I was relatively sure it was going to lead to sizeable orders, but that's never been the case. It's almost always some inventor type who is sure his idea is going to make him rich and paranoid that everyone is out to steal it. That is a terrible way to start a business relationship. Also, every NDA I've ever seen from these types is so onerous that I have no interest in signing. How can I know if I am working on something similar to their idea before I know their idea? If they tell me and I think it's just like something that already exists or worked on something remotely related in the past, they are going to think I am in fact stealing their idea.

    An NDA from someone like this is basically accepting liability and potential cost for a bunch of stuff that could be totally out of your control. It also restricts your ongoing and future business interests and, in that way, costs you actual money. And for what? The "potential" that maybe, possibly, they will send some business your way.

    Sorry for the bluntness, but, fuuuuuuuuck that noise! I am not even close to that hard up for business... nor do I have any desire to limit my income from my real business that makes actual parts for the benefit of a dreamer who doesn't actually own a company and doesn't actually make anything.

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  26. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sealark37 View Post
    Respond with an invoice for your consulting fees.
    This. And tell him once that is paid you'll run the NDA past your attorney for consideration.

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    Don Lancaster is an electronic and technology consultant. I've always liked the statement on his website-

    "Our secrecy policy: There ain't one. We do not normally do NDA's
    or any classified work of any sort. Unless paid prearrangements are
    specifically made, you can safely assume that anything and everything
    you tell us can and will be dissemenated to the widest possible audience."

    Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair

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