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The non-compete clause in my severance agreement is rather vague

Hillsboro, OR |

Can i accept a position with a competitor given the following language : " During the course of your employment , you have and will continue to have access to trade secrets , confidential information and proprietary information . In consideration of benefits received in this agreement , you agree to keep all such information strictly confidential and will not reveal it to any person or use it for your own benefit for a period of two years from your separation . . . " Can I accept the position with a competitor if it would not require any disclosure of such information ?

Attorney Answers 2



Reading this provision in a vacuum, it does not prohibit you from competing only using and exploiting trade secrets and other proprietary information.

That said, the factual circumstances may matter as does the remainder of the agreement which is not known. If, for example, your employer has reason to believe that you will be using their info or are going to a competitor with the intended purpose of exploiting their info they can take legal action. This is probably not the case as it is rare, but this is why a forum like this cannot be relied upon conclusively.

If you have concerns here, I suggest you have a lawyer review the entire agreement and offer an opinion with full knowledge of the facts and circumstances.

I will link you to some general info on this subject of non-competes below and most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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These type of issues need more details regarding what you did for your previous company and what you are proposing to do with the new company. Also, there is other language in the agreement that you have not quoted that may affect the analysis. Finally, it also depends upon whether the agreement itself is enforceable. Whether the restrictions are reasonable, and whether the original employer jumped through all the correct hoops.

Information is provided to assist the reader in forming questions and allow them to take full advantage of a consultation with the attorney of their choice. Schuck Law, LLC does not provide legal advice to individuals who have not signed a written fee agreement with the firm. The facts, which were not disclosed in the written question may change the advice, if any, that would be rendered by the attorneys at Schuck Law, LLC. For these and other reasons, Schuck Law, LLC is not responsible for any damages caused by the reader's use, mis-use, or interpretation of the information provided herein.

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