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Academic Consulting Agreement

Opublikowano: wrzesień 8th, 2021 by foto-klinika |

One of us, Edward Klees, was for over 13 years a member of a legal team that audited faculty consulting agreements for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The other – academic scientist (and Nobel laureate) H. Robert Horvitz – has been working in companies for more than 25 years. We have both observed that a professor`s approach to a business relationship is often very different from that of professionals whose roots are in the corporate world. For example, we have seen that academics experienced in economics have not understood the possible consequences of the legally binding terms of a consulting contract. We observed that professors who start businesses do not understand the need to carefully consider the complex legal agreements they enter into when they begin this new experiment. Indeed, we know some academics who do not even read the treaties they sign and others who read them, but sign them, without mentioning errors, omissions and other concerns. Both types of relations with the commercial sector – advice and business creation – require careful attention to legal issues. This article focuses mainly on consulting contracts. There are very good reasons to do your homework before signing a consulting contract. Consider the following issues and scenarios related to actions or options in a start-up: 1.3 Privacy.

In order for the consultant to provide the consulting services, it may be necessary for the company to provide the consultant with confidential information (as defined below) about the company`s business and products. The company will rely heavily on the consultant`s prudent integrity and discernment to use this information only in the best interest of the company. In any case, there is no reason for you to sign an agreement contrary to the directives of your institution. There is nothing to gain and much to lose. If you are preparing to sign a consulting contract, please note: 5. Make sure you understand the importance and impact of everything in your agreement. Some consulting contracts contain “legalese”, the impact of which may not be obvious. For example, the contract may require that you be able to keep confidential everything the company tells you, even after the contract expires.

Does such a statement mean that you have to keep it confidential forever? Is such a long bond appropriate in areas where the innovation has a half-life of one year? How do you know what information you need to keep confidential? Don`t think a company will get mad at you if you ask questions or negotiate for better terms.