I am reading a contract in which there is the following content: you acknowledge you will have visibility to valuable information. My question is what is the exact meaning of this statement? Going strictly by the dictionary meaning of the word acknowledge, this statement can mean two different things: 1- To admit to be true and real 2- To show or express recognition or realization of The first meaning seems to imply that I am making a statement about the value of a content. While the second definition seems to imply that I accept the author's claim that the information is of value. Which is the case here?

  • Taking the second interpretation, you'd have to be able to predict the future if making a promise about the value of the information to you. You missed the option that you are acknowledging that you will have access to information that is valuable to the drafter of the contract. Also, it seems more like a whereas clause.
    – user3851
    Aug 29, 2016 at 14:39
  • I'm not saying anything about what should be done in a particular situation.
    – user3851
    Aug 29, 2016 at 19:25
  • You need to give us more information about the thing that the contract is about. For example, is this a database licensed from source X which you can use for some scientific purposes including publication?
    – user6726
    Aug 29, 2016 at 20:31
  • 1. "visibility to"?? do you mean "access to"? 2. This sounds like it's going to go on to say "and you will keep this information secure when in your possession"; if so, it means "you accept that the information circulating in the company email is commercially valuable, and you won't go posting it on Facebook". Can you post the whole clause? Aug 30, 2016 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


Contracts are ordinarily interpreted according to their plain meaning. Here you seem to be over-emphasizing the term "acknowledge." I would focus on the term "value." Noting that something has value probably doesn't say much about how valuable it is: it isn't clear that it has commercial value, or that it has value to you.

I can't think of too many situations where the concept of something having value at all, is legally relevant. But one such situation relates to contract formation. In some jurisdictions, a contract is only formed when both parties agree to exchange something of value. It is possible that your acknowledgement that the information is valuable is relevant to contract formation.

My unresearched guess is that it is less likely that merely acknowledging that the thing has value, would mean that you recognize it has non-trivial value, such that, your acknowledgment would somehow hurt you if the other party later sought to establish damages flowing from your breach of the agreement.

Important Note: 1. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. 2. You should consult an attorney licensed to practice in your state. 3. This information is provided for educational/intellectual purposes only. I am responding to the question as a hypothetical and NOT performing any research, which would be necessary in order to provide competent legal advice.

  • Why the down vote?
    – user8950
    Aug 29, 2016 at 19:29
  • @user8950- I was thinking about the same thing.
    – maverick
    Aug 29, 2016 at 19:34
  • @user8950 - some people on this forum are brutal with downvotes - indeed I expect quite a few people have left the forum as a result - I certainly answer a lot less then I otherwise would. Its a pity because the site would be better if people would post there own answers rather then downvotes. Often these -1's are handed out because there are no citations.
    – davidgo
    Aug 29, 2016 at 19:54
  • I don't think downvotes are the problem, the problem is drive-by silent downvotes.
    – user6726
    Aug 29, 2016 at 20:33
  • 1. I really want to stress that this is not a forum. 2. No one is obligated to explain a downvote. 3. If you are answering questions solely for the purpose of amassing imaginary internet points then the easy solution to losing reputation is to post more good answers. 4. Not sure why you were downvoted, this seems like a good answer given the information provided.
    – jimsug
    Aug 29, 2016 at 22:44

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