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Can minors void an NDA that they sign? What if parents co-sign?

Dekalb, IL |

The primary concern is whether or not a disclosure of confidential information under an NDA, to a minor, is considered public or private if the minor decides to void the contract. As a possible way around this, can the contract be voided if the parent co-signs? My concern is primarily whether the USPTO would still deem intellectual property the minor decides to talk about as not publicly disclosed, i.e., still patentable (assuming it was to begin with), and secondarily whether or not one can sue for damages or anything like that .

Attorney Answers 2

  1. A minor cannot be held to a contract. A parent signature does not protect you on NDA either as such a promise is personal in the law. You might have a damage claim against the parents, but so what? You are still out because of the NDA violation.


    Don't do the deal with a minor. The minor will win and you will lose if the minor bolts and takes the confidential information.

  2. I agree with my colleague, a contract signed by a minor can be voided, and having the parent "co-sign" is unlikely to achieve your goal - since your primary concern is protecting the confidentiality and/or proprietary nature of the intellectual property. However, there are different standards relating to "publicly disclosed" depending on the type of intellectual property and what type of confidentiality you seek. So, it may be possible to construct an agreement that may work for your circumstances. I suggest you consult with a local lawyer.

    We are happy to discuss this with you in greater detail. Please contact me at your earliest convenience for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at 312-236-8110.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult a local business lawyer to obtain legal advice that is tailored to your circumstances and facts. Good luck to you.

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