North Carolina Non-Disclosure Agreement
The North Carolina Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a state-specific document that keeps important, shared confidential information from being leaked to those not directly permitted to learn the information. The contract is formed between two (2) parties, which can be institutions or individual people. The formal term for info that the form protects is called “trade secrets.” In order for information to be qualified as a trade secret, the information must be inaccessible to the general public and provide as a form of value for the person or entity that owns it. In North Carolina, stealing a trade secret is illegal – regardless if an NDA was signed or not. However, taking the steps to draft an sign an NDA can only aid the company’s chances of winning a case put before a court while also reducing the likelihood of information being leaked in the first place.
Trade Secret Law
Definition of Misappropriation (§ 66-152): The term “misappropriation” refers to the purposeful 1) acquisition, 2) disclosure, or 3) use of another person or entities secret(s) without direct or implied consent from the owner. Exceptions: the trade secrets were discovered by research conducted independently, through the use of reverse-engineering, or was acquired by an individual with express permission to share the information.
Statute of Limitations (§ 66-157): Victims of misappropriation (stolen secrets) have three (3) years after discovering the act to bring a case. “Discovering” also refers to the date that the defendant should have known about the misappropriation.