We have a product that uses a third-party chrome extension. Our clients would like extra features on the extension so we reached out to the developer for a collaboration, to which he politely turned down.
Now it's up to us to develop our own extension as a replacement. As a relatively inexperienced developer, I'm studying the guy's code and using it as a reference to build our own extension. Because his code is much more dry and elegant, and that I'm learning many new concepts and programming techniques by referencing his code, I'm worried that much of our code will be too similar despite that we'll have some different features.
Not sure if I'm making sense, because the way he wrote the code is more polished and cool, much of what I'm learning from him is the only way I know how to write certain parts. So I'm concerned about the legal side of this. If it helps, we're not exactly in direct competition, we're just taking back the clients we sent to him.