The developer told iPhone J.D.:
“People often have informal meeting where they would like to discuss ideas with colleagues, friends, or prospective employees. We want to promote these meetings by giving people legal protection available to them at all times.”
STOP LAUGHING, this is fascinating:
A couple of points about this (1) enforceability and (2) ramifications.
First, although it is available in the Australian iTunes store ($5.99) and the developer’s website says the agreement has been drafted by “a leading contract law firm”, the developer’s conversation with the iPhone J.D. suggests the app was drafted in line with US laws. Whether or not it would be enforceable in Australia may well be another matter. One can’t tell from the screen shots what the wording is. Also, it doesn’t look like you can add details like what the information claimed to be confidential is. On the other hand, we have electronic signature laws too and a relationship of confidentiality can arise where the confidential nature of the circumstances is apparent from the circumstances. Signing up to such a document might, just might, lead to such an inference. You should form your own views.
Secondly and in many respects far more intriguingly, think about the ramifications.
We already go along to mediations toting our laptops and maybe a printer, type up the terms and print them out for signature.
With this product people can have in their pockets – well in their iPhones – and with them at (pretty much) all times a document which is intended to create binding legal relations with some other party and actually get them signed up on the spot.
OK, this particular document is pretty rudimentary and I personally don’t often find myself suddenly desperate to sign the person I’m talking to up to an NDA. How much longer will it be though before the number of fields in the document that can be customised is increased and you can actually start tailoring some form or other to the particular circumstances?