It should be noted, however, that some court proceedings in some legal systems authorize the oral establishment of such a confidential relationship and that certain court proceedings in some jurisdictions allow the use of acts as evidence of the establishment of such a confidential relationship, but you should NEVER rely on or anticipate the fact that a court applies an oral confidentiality agreement based only on acts. Violation of a confidentiality agreement may be imposed on that party by possible fines or other legal and reputational effects. These types of agreements are particularly useful when valuable information is revealed as long as it is confidential (i.e. a trade secret), which may include both invention-related and commercial information. Indeed, if you are trying to assert the valuable information you possess is a business secret, you must take the appropriate steps to keep it secret. An agreement that requires the recipient to keep your trade secret confidential becomes absolutely necessary, because once trade secrecy is known to all, it will no longer be a trade secret. See confidentiality requirement. Implementation of a post-employment agreement – in some cases years later – gives workers the impression that the employer has changed the terms of their employment. Some will refuse to sign, and you may lose employees you want to keep.
The idea behind a confidentiality agreement is that you are protected (the revealing party) by ensuring that the receiving party does not disclose your information, except under the agreed terms, and that your ideas are not marketed or in competition with you. While you can implicitly trust your colleagues and collaborators, you must have something in writing that can be used in court if a judge is to determine whether and at what level an offence is committed. If you have a team of people working on a private project, you can also get them to sign separate confidentiality agreements that prevent them from telling someone else in the company – who is not part of the team. For example, if your software team is developing a revolutionary application, you need to be the last to go to the staff canteen and hear a lively discussion about its benefits.