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Is there any sort of legal contract in the United States (Rhode Island) one could make without a lawyer that would state that a disclosing party owns a certain idea and that the receiving party may not use it or show it without the consent of the disclosing party.

This would not quite be an NDA, since the disclosing party has already told the receiving party about the idea in the past (prior to the signing of the contract). The goal of this contract is to prevent the receiving party from developing the idea (which originated from the disclosing party) into an actual device.

  • As I point out elsewhere, the person agreeing that they will not use your idea is not the same issue as - did the previous disclosure constitute a public disclosure. If it did, it effects your patent rights. – George White Aug 21 at 4:18
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Is there any sort of legal contract ...

Yes, these are commonly called non-disclosure agreements. Anyone can draft them: lawyers do it more reliably than most.

... the disclosing party has already told the receiving party about the idea in the past (prior to the signing of the contract).

If so, the discloser is what is known as f*%#~d - a technical legal term. The receiver of this information can do what they like with it and has very little to no incentive to agree not to.

The goal of this contract is to prevent the receiving party from developing the idea (which originated from the disclosing party) into an actual device.

And why would the receiver agree? What valuable consideration is the discloser going to offer to bind the contract. The information is not consideration because it is ‘past’ and past consideration is no consideration. Something of value has to pass from the discloser to the receiver- $1 would be sufficient but the receiver has to agree.

  • What if the Receiving Party was to agree? What wording/clauses should be included in the NDA to make sure that they stick by the promise of not spreading or developing the idea? – Super Nerds Team Aug 21 at 11:08
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    The ones your lawyer writes - if your idea is not worth paying a lawyer to protect it it’s not worth protecting – Dale M Aug 21 at 12:58
  • The issue is I don't have the money for a lawyer. The matter is also relatively constrained by time (requires the NDA to be made before Sept. 8th), thus, I will likely not be able to get the money by then. – Super Nerds Team Aug 22 at 21:03
  • @SuperNerdsTeam In theory, you could offer the receiving party something sufficiently valuable that he might agree to restrict his future freedom of action (i.e., NOT to do whatever he wants with information already freely received) in order to qualify for the condition under which he receives the newly promised value. – Upnorth Sep 5 at 2:56

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