November 2016

Strategies for overcoming time-bound confidentiality obligations

In non-disclosure agreements, or any type of agreement that contains confidentiality provisions, clauses that terminate the confidentiality obligation after a period of time are common. "The obligations of confidentiality under this agreement expire five years after termination," for example.

I understand the arguments of those that defend such clauses: administrative convenience and finality; that most information should be expected to "go stale" after a 3 years or so anyway; and that it's better to use a separate agreement for true trade secrets.

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