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An IP Thief in the Night

Protecting your IP:  Former Staff and Business Partners; Prospective Investors


It’s the people who are closest who can cause the most damage. 


Most businesses pour very significant resources into developing intellectual property, e.g. customer lists, marketing literature, processes, manuals, supplier lists, product/service specifications and software. 


As a matter of commercial necessity, employees, business partners and prospective investors are often entrusted with some or all of this highly commercially sensitive information.  Of course the concern is that the employee, business partner or prospective investor will “steel” data and customers for use in a competing business.

The solution includes well drafted provisions dealing with Restraint of Trade, Confidentiality and Intellectual Property, usually contained in the following types of agreements:

  • Business Sale Agreements, Share Sale Agreements and Share Buyback Agreements (restraining the vendor from competing with the business after sale).


  • Partnership Agreements, Shareholder/Unitholder Agreements and Joint Venture Agreements.


  • Distribution Agreements, Supply Agreements, Manufacturing Agreements, Franchise Agreements and Licensing Agreements.


  • Non-Disclosure / Confidentiality Agreements (restraining prospective investors from using information divulged to them by the business).


  • Employment Agreements, Subcontractor Agreements, Consultancy Agreements and Service Agreements.



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If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article with us, or share your own experiences, please contact Rod Stumbles at +613 8692 7255 or here.



This article provides general information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  No lawyer-client, solicitor-client or attorney-client relationship has been created between us.  You must not rely on the contents of this article, whether as an alternative to legal advice from a lawyer or other professional legal services provider or otherwise.  You should not take, discontinue or refrain from taking any action because your understanding of the contents of this article, including without limitation delay seeking legal advice or disregard legal advice.  If you have any specific questions about any matter, you should engage us or other lawyers or other professional legal services providers to provide you with the necessary advice.  Keep in mind that you may be facing important deadlines so you should not delay in engaging someone to provide you with the advice.

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