Different expert here. Please permit me to assist:
A former employee may use general knowledge, skill and experience acquired in his or her former employment in competition with a former employer; i.e., the former employee cannot be expected to “wipe his or her memory clean.” But “the former employee may not use confidential information or trade secrets in doing so.”
The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (Cal. Civil Code 3426 et. seq.) defines a trade secret as “information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:
- Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
- Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
Nondisclosure agreements are not essential to obtaining judicial relief. Courts will prevent ex-employees from using/disclosing trade secrets under the tort of misappropriation of trade secrets even without a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement.
See generally, Klamath-Orleans Lumber, Inc. v. Miller
(1978) 87 CA3d 458, 465–466.
Hope this helps.
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