Are you facing an accusation of breach of contract because you leaked information about a new product?
According to the company you work for, you have given out confidential information and violated the nondisclosure agreement you signed—but do the facts tell a different story?
What you signed
The company makes innovative software products. Like all new employees, you signed a nondisclosure agreement when you took the job as a salesperson. Although you will be touting new products to prospective customers, the agreement is meant to prevent you from disclosing proprietary information.
What should have been included
Although nondisclosure agreements normally list exclusions, the contract could have some inadvertent omissions. Examples of exclusions include information that is already publicly known or that the individual signing the NDA has developed. In your case, you received some of the proprietary information orally, but there was nothing in writing to confirm what was confidential and what was not in that discussion. In fact, the agreement itself was quite broad in scope.
What they think you did
Let us say that over time, you become a top salesperson in the company and are bringing in new customers for the innovative software products. You are working with a Fortune 500 company that is also talking to your main competitor in the software business. Your supervisor thinks you have divulged confidential information about a new product that your prospective customer could leak to the competition. However, you are only touting the benefits of your product over those of a similar product made by the competitor.
What your options are
Your supervisor says he can get a court order to stop you from breaching the nondisclosure agreement. However, there is no injunction clause in the agreement. You believe that you have not shared any of the proprietary information written into the NDA, and you have the right to seek legal counsel if you feel you are being unfairly accused of breach of contract.