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RE: When are NDAs not binding? Was, RE: STC Certification - What Does It Really Mean
Subject:RE: When are NDAs not binding? Was, RE: STC Certification - What Does It Really Mean From:"Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com> To:'Gene Kim-Eng' <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> Date:Wed, 2 Nov 2011 19:50:03 +0000
One more theoretical question. Do you happen to know if there is a statute of limitations to NDAs? Am I bound to an NDA that I signed, say, ten years ago? What if the company no longer manufactures the product I documented and/or the company or product idea has since been sold two or three times?
From: Gene Kim-Eng [mailto:techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 11:52 AM
To: Porrello, Leonard
Cc: William Sherman; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: When are NDAs not binding? Was, RE: STC Certification - What Does It Really Mean
That's going to depend on the specific agreement. Typically, employee NDAs obligate the employee not to reveal or distribute confidential information or trade secrets without permission, and remain in effect for as long as the information continues to be confidential or a trade secret. For those, once the information becomes available to the general public - for example if anyone can click on a link on the company's support site and download it - it's no longer restricted. But if the NDA says "proprietary," then in theory it could require you to obtain the company's permission even then.
What constitutes "confidential" can be very wide. Depending on where in a product life cycle you happen to be, the mere fact that a company is developing a particular product or type of product may be confidential even if you redact every technical detail about the effort.
The best policy is always to ask if you can keep a copy of something you've done and add it to your portfolio. I've yet to have a company or client refuse.
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:23 AM, Porrello, Leonard <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com<mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>> wrote:
Is an NDA binding after a company has made your (its) work available to the general public?
How about if they have made it available or distributed it to parties that have not signed an NDA?
Does your average NDA prevent one from providing heavily redacted versions of a document that contains no proprietary information?
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