NDAs can help to protect you at every stage of the development of your idea - no matter what other forms of IPR you have, and even long after your invention is on the market.
You can find many free examples of NDAs on the internet.
However, it gives you no protection against someone who independently comes up with the same or a similar idea.
A competitor may say that their idea is similar to yours by coincidence, or that your idea is a copy of theirs.
Though often useful as part of an IPR strategy, UDR on its own will not protect most inventions.
More robust protection for designs comes through formal registration, which can last up to 25 years.
Similarly, if the confidential information covered by the NDA later becomes public knowledge by some other means, then the original parties to the NDA will no longer be bound by it.
You can take action against anyone who makes, sells, uses or imports articles which look like the article registered.But a vehicle brake pad can only have one shape if it is to fit in the brake callipers.It therefore has no design ‘freedom' and so no protection.How can your prove that your idea was the original?The following steps may help you to prove that you are the copyright owner in a later dispute: In the EU, unregistered design right (UDR) protects the outward appearance of a product, including its shape, pattern, texture and decorations.Many large companies take the view that NDAs only have a use when they are seriously interested in an idea. (To overcome this problem, train yourself to communicate the business benefits of your idea without disclosing its novel aspects.) NDAs are widely used in all forms of business, so you should certainly consider using them yourself.But remember that they are binding legal agreements, and use them only when both parties accept that significant disclosure is necessary.In addition, NDAs can only restrain others from disclosing or exploiting specific and unique secrets which they get only from you.Any information that is already general knowledge is free for anyone to continue using, regardless of the NDA.It may however be wise to seek the advice of a patent attorney when constructing your own version.Your main problem is likely to be persuading other people to sign your NDA.