One issue still bobbing below the social networking surface is disclosure of trade secrets, such as a client/customer list, through use of social networking. With seemingly everyone, including us here at the Info Law Group, connecting to business associates and potential and actual clients, the question is not academic.
In business or technical discussions with potential investors, customers, suppliers, licensors, franchisees, or joint venture partners, it is often very difficult to determine how much needs to be disclosed and exactly who "owns" which information and ideas. Were the parties just brainstorming? Did they independently develop a similar approach to a problem? Litigation over NDAs can be costly, public, and ultimately unsatisfactory to the party claiming a breach, especially if it is hard to prove the intended scope of the agreement and the actual source of information. When is it worthwhile using NDAs, and how can they be made more effective?