Skip to main content
European Commission logo
IP Helpdesk

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W


Confidentiality Agreement - A confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a private legally binding contract whereby valuable information is kept safe. It establishes the conditions under which one party (the disclosing party) discloses information in confidence to another party (the receiving party). All types of information can be transmitted in these agreements, such as ideas, know-how and descriptions of inventions or business information. The common characteristic though is that the disclosed information is valuable for the disclosing party to the extent that it must be kept away from the public domain. A confidentiality agreement is crucial for SMEs in business negotiations and for employers in relation to their employees.

Copyright - Copyright is a legal term which refers to the rights granted to authors, artists and other creators for their creations. Copyright entitles the owners of literary and artistic works to a set of exclusive rights over their works. These rights, generally, include:

  • copying;
  • translating;
  • adapting and altering;
  • communicating and performing to the public;
  • distributing;
  • renting and lending copies.

Copyright grants two kinds of prerogatives:

  • economic rights;
  • moral rights;

So-called ‘economic rights' enable right holders to control the use of their works. These rights normally take the form of exclusive rights and include the right to reproduce and communicate the work to the public.

The author of a copyrighted work also has the right to claim authorship, as well as the right to object to a distortion and mutilation of the work that may be detrimental to his honour or reputation. These rights are generally known as ‘moral rights'. Moral rights may include the right to decide on when or whether to make the work public, the right to claim authorship of the work and the right to object to any derogatory action in relation to the work.

Counterfeiting – Counterfeiting is the practice of imitating genuine goods, often of inferior quality, with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product. Counterfeiting may violate protections under trade mark, copyright, patent or design laws. An example for counterfeiting would be selling of products imitating genuine goods under a brand name without the brand owner's authorisation.

Customs – Customs are the governmental agency authorised to collect duties levied by a government (such as taxes) imposed on imported and, less commonly, exported goods. Their objective is also implementation of trade enforcement measures including checking and detaining suspected infringing goods crossing a border.