Neither party shall make any public announcement or issue any circular concerning the existence or content of this Agreement without the prior written approval of the other party. This shall not apply to any announcement required by law or any regulatory body.
Here is a plain English explanation of the Publicity clause:
- This clause limits public announcements about the existence or details of the contract.
- Neither party can issue any public announcement or circular about the contract without first getting written approval from the other party.
- There is an exception if the announcement is required by law or a regulatory body.
- The purpose is to keep the contract confidential unless both parties agree to make it public.
- This prevents one party from unilaterally publicizing the deal for marketing or other purposes.
- It maintains control over public knowledge of the relationship.
- However, it allows announcements that are mandatory legal disclosures.
- Overall, this clause protects confidentiality and restricts publicity unless mutually agreed or legally required.
Confidentiality provisions governing publicity of business relationships trace back many centuries in history. During Medieval times, master craftsmen required apprentices to sign oaths of secrecy to protect their trade secrets.
By the 1700s, confidentiality clauses appeared in early partnership agreements among merchants, bankers and insurers to prevent disclosure of sensitive commercial information.
As business competition intensified during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, contractual confidentiality duties became increasingly common. Non-disclosure of customer lists, pricing, inventions and trade secrets was key to gaining advantage. The rise of mass media in the early 1900s led to clauses restricting publicity about relationships without consent.
During much of the 20th century, implicit expectations of business confidentiality were the norm. However, high-profile lawsuits over breach of confidentiality reinforced the need for explicit contractual terms. Data privacy laws in the 1970s-80s also codified confidentiality obligations in certain jurisdictions.
Today's digital age makes contractual confidentiality protections even more critical. Publicity clauses enable parties to control public knowledge of their relationship and ensure aligned disclosure. At the same time, mandatory reporting laws make carve-outs essential. Overall, balancing confidentiality with lawful transparency through defined publicity terms has become a contractual necessity.
Looking ahead, managing publicity of business collaborations and data relationships will only grow in importance. Contractual confidentiality coupled with lawful disclosure will remain vital to business in the information age.