Minneapolis patent attorney Mark Stignani explains the key things to consider in third party confidentiality in a joint venture.
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What are the important factors of third party confidentiality for a joint venture? Now, joint ventures can be more than two people. Joint ventures can be three parties, four parties, and get very complex in that direction. But even a two-person joint venture may have third parties that require confidentiality. Now, those parties might be vendors. They could be contractors. They could be freelancers. They could be people who are creating independent intellectual property for the joint venture that somehow need to be contributed into that process. And their confidentiality is as important as the partner’s confidentiality because they represent a kind of a wild card in the confidentiality mix. So if you don’t have them taken care of and you don’t have them covered, you have a hole in your confidentiality. You can lose intellectual property through that vendor. You could lose all sorts of trade secrets through residual rights clauses and confidentiality exclusions. So third party confidentiality is another area that must be nailed down before you jump into a joint venture arrangement.