Title: Legally-informed information disclosure in early-stage ventures

Authors: William Newell; Jacqueline S. Walsh

Addresses: Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, 20 University Drive, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, A2H 5G4, Canada ' Technology and Innovation Law Clinic, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue, P.O. Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada

Abstract: Entrepreneurs face unique challenges during the formation of new ventures, including how to balance the tension between sharing and protecting confidential information with potential investors and customers while also ensuring the effective development of these relationships. To address this challenge, we suggest that new ventures employ the concept of legally-informed information disclosure (LID). We define LID as the sharing of sensitive and valuable information through means that, with the legal and relational environments in mind, clearly indicate its value and confidential nature before and during the process of disclosure. This conceptual paper argues that LID lies at the intersection of relational governance, contractual governance, and the legal perspective of breach of confidence. We propose a theoretical framework to illustrate this three-way relationship. Introducing the legal perspective to an established body of literature allows for an actionable framework that is inter-disciplinary, and legally and theoretically supported.

Keywords: information sharing; IP protection; trust; control; relationship governance; inter-organisational relationships; entrepreneurship; breach of confidence; legally-informed information disclosure; LID.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2022.126310

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2022 Vol.19 No.3, pp.374 - 392

Received: 20 Nov 2020
Accepted: 05 Aug 2021

Published online: 20 Oct 2022 *

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