Fashion Designers NDA.
Do Fashion Designers need an NDA ?
Is it legally binding anyway ?
Will clothing manufacturers take any notice of an NDA ?
What Is An NDA ?
An NDA is a non-disclosure agreement. Or confidentiality agreement. It is a legally binding contract, used to protect important information, designs, or ideas.
While they generally do not hold up in court, they could provide some protection , and could be considered a deterrent against someone disclosing precious design ideas.
By signing the confidentiality agreement, the other party is agreeing not to disclose any important information regarding your designs.
Do I Need One ?
The clothing industry is notorious for everyone knocking off everyone else`s designs. While everyone does it, it is virtually impossible to stop it. The established fashion labels are clever enough to make sure that they do not copy another design exactly.
For most new labels, copying a design is not really the issue. What can sometimes be an issue is if their factory decide to use the patterns that they have spent so much money developing, to sell to a competitor. This may constitute thousands of pounds worth of patterns being sold on at no cost to the factory.
In the past, factories would consider it a perk to use the “cabbage” ( Excess fabric) to make some of their own styles in order to sell themselves. They would be given a generous costing for this purpose, and would complain if the costing was not generous enough. This no longer happens, as usually they are just use asked to use all the cloth.
While an NDA would be difficult to enforce, it could act as a deterrent against someone who may otherwise consider selling using your designs and patterns for their own use.
Is It Legally Binding ?
Yes, it is a legally binding agreement.
Does It Hold Up In Court ?
No, it doesnt generally hold up in court. It is very difficult to prove, time consuming, and expensive. Lets face it, few small businesses would consider going to court over an NDA, unless there was a lot of money at stake.
How Do I Compile An NDA ?
There are plenty of generic NDA templates to be had on the internet. For most people, a generic NDA will be adequate. If you are trying to protect an important and valuable idea, then a bespoke NDA would be more advisable than a generic one.
Essential Terms To be Included.
- All the parties to be bound by the agreement.
- A description of what you want to protect – Designs, sketches, patterns, samples, etc.
When Should I Use One ?
There is no hard and fast rule as to when an NDA should be used. But a designer may consider using an NDA prior to entering a business relationship with a retailer, consultant, or manufacturer.
How Long Is It Valid ?
There is no specific rule as to how long an NDA is valid. Instead, the term should be determined in each individual agreement. Generally however, a period of one to three years is normal.
Will We Sign Your NDA ?
You can rest assured that The London Pattern Cutter will never use, or divulge your designs in any way. Our reputation is very important to us. That is why we use very few images on our website – The designs are your property, and not ours.
We understand the importance of the NDA – Not just for your peace of mind, but also as a legally binding contract. It is because of this importance, we are very careful about what documents we sign, and when.
While we would be more than happy to sign an NDA, we only do this with customers who are proceeding with orders with us – Under the terms of a formal consultation with the client over Skype or face to face upon which we charge a £40 fee, which is then deducted from your order value (so it doesn’t cost anything extra).
We have this arrangement with all our customers so during the consultation we can discuss the designs and a potential quotation. Please confirm you are happy to do this and I will send over the relevant company details on the NDA.
Alternatively you can send across a few images (from the web) of similar designs that exist in the market and we can quote based on this.
Fashion Startup Workshop.
We run a very popular one-to-one fashion startup workshop if you would like a concise introduction to how to set up and run a clothing business.