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My current job contract (in an outsource software development company) explicitly says that I should not disclose "commercial secrets" while I'm employed and within a year after termination. I'm leaving the company in a week and cannot even use any references to the work done in my portfolio because it would inevitably make it apparent what customers this work was done for (which is the part of the said commercial secrets), and I'm not going to violate this agreement.

At the same time I wonder if I'm actually free to disclose this information (the references to the applications and thus list of customers) when this NDA period expires without consequences? Is it something my current employer can sue me for anyway or could it just harm my reputation as a reliable employee in the eyes of future (potential) employers?

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  • "when this NDA period expires". Does the agreement really say that it's OK to talk about the project after a certain date? Commented May 30, 2022 at 20:30
  • Are you telling us that your current employer doesn't brag about the client companies it has on its own web site? or on of its own brochures/press releases/newspaper articles? After all, for something to be considered a trade secret, it has to be a secret. Also, I suspect this question will depend on which country/state/jurisdiction you're in. Commented May 31, 2022 at 3:34

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Is it something my current employer can sue me for anyway

This is a legal question and off-topic here; you could potentially ask on Law SE but best to ask a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

could it just harm my reputation as a reliable employee in the eyes of future (potential) employers?

This would depend almost entirely on what you say. If there's nothing particularly sensitive about the relationship between your former employer and the clients and you give generic details about the projects, potentially even making it clear your NDA has expired, then most employers probably won't think too badly of you.

If on the other hand you give details which aren't necessary to showcase your experience - say, details of bugs in the implementations - then people probably will think badly of you, because there's no need to do that, independent of whether an NDA ever existed or not.

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