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I worked with a company (Company A) in the US as a developer for two years that utilized third party API's. I recently left that company to work elsewhere (new company (Company B) is a completely different type of company, no technology overlap whatsoever). However, I've recently been looking into starting a side project. This side project, while not using any code of Company A, is based upon my experience of working there, particularly with one third party API. My goal is to write something that would be open sourced and make dealing with said third party API more bearable.

My question is, if my former employer finds out that I've done this, do they have any grounds for suing me? Are there any repercussions that could occur for me pursuing said side project?

  • Hi Lino, just a reminder, questions asking for legal advice are not suitable. I am voting to close as a request for legal advice. If you generalize your question, I will retract. – Andrew Jun 3 at 17:19
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if my former employer finds out that I've done this, do they have any grounds for suing me?

It depends on whether your performance in the side project amounts to disclosing company A's trade secrets or other proprietary information. If experience in this context simply means the proficiency you attained in the third-party API, the former employer has no legitimate claim.

Are there any repercussions that could occur for me pursuing said side project?

This will mostly depend on the terms of the non-compete clause (if any) you might have signed with company A.

A non-compete clause could be enforceable for a reasonable period upon termination of your employment with company A. But that does not mean that any and all contemporaneous or subsequent activities are within scope of a non-compete clause merely because they involve the use of same technology such as a third-party API.

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