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NDAs, non-competes, etc -- Do they expire, and if so, are there any limits to the use of knowledge?

If the agreements date/term wise are legally expired, and there's no additional IP agreements beyond them (copyright, patent, etc) - what legal/moral obligation do I have not to compete against the parties in those agreements using the knowledge gain during the course of those agreements?

Taking a step back, some might say that the party paid/owns the related information, but my understanding is the spirit of the law for IP long-term is that all IP enters the public domain, it's just a matter of when/how/why/etc.

Also, is there a legally enforceable way to test the expiration of the agreements without potentially discovering the terms of said agreement were violated by doing the test? If not, how do I define the scope of limitation related to the use of knowledge covered by the agreements?


Legal Disclaimers: Yes, I know: Seek the advice of an attorney; Your response is not legal advice; You are not an attorney, or your response does not form attorney-client relationship; etc. I know, thanks!

  • The question itself is based on way too many false assumptions. I hesitate to believe that this would be a good question even on a site that accepts legal questions. – Nicole May 29 '12 at 3:48
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No, this is purely a legal question and can only be answered by a lawyer.

There isn't currently a Stack Exchange site for legal questions, and unfortunately the two Area51 proposals, Software Law1 and Intellectual Property Law, that your question might have been on topic were closed.

Related Meta discussions:

1 I'm only mentioning Software Law because the question was asked and closed on Programmers.

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