In general, you want to first analyse the NDA yourself and if it seems off to you or you’re not sure how you feel about it, definitely go to a lawyer for this. But the rule of thumb is, if it has the company’s name on it then the company would be liable if they scam you or steal your idea or mess with you in any way.
Thank you for your advice, Maia. I think I’ll have to consult a lawyer after all. The thing is I really don’t like the part where the company says they may have prior art. What if they say they do but they don’t actually have any prior art? How can I be sure of that?
If you signed the NDA and after that they start selling/marketing your product, then they must prove they had everything planned before you sent/showed them the product. But all of this is if you sue them, otherwise nothing happens.
What I think you should do is research as much as you can about the company, if they’ve had any complaints, what kind of complaints do they have, is there any suggestion they might be unethical, are the complaints legit or just people trying to take them down. But generally speaking, big companies are fine.
Lucy, if you disclose your invention without signing an NDA, you will be left with a vulnerable situation. The company can use your invention in any way and you will not have any legal proof of it. So, it is best to sign NDA.