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Georgia choice-of-law crib sheet

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Confidentiality obligations for non-trade-secrets must have time limits

“Under Georgia law, the length of time that you can protect confidential information that does not qualify as a trade secret is limited. See [C. Geoffrey Weirich & Daniel P. Hart, Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information in Georgia, 60 Mercer L. Rev. 533, 552 & nn.85-87]. I think that places the burden on the owner of the confidential information to show that it is a trade secret, unless you specifically draft around it.”

Submitted by Chris Lemens, who didn’t provide a link to more information about him. The Weirich & Hart article cites O.C.GA. § 10-1-767(b)(1) (2000) and several Georgia appellate cases that were not found on-line: Wright v. Power Indus. Consultants, Inc., 234 Ga. App. 833, 837, 508 S.E.2d 191, 195 (1998) (nondisclosure clause with no time limit is unenforceable for non-trade-secret information), rev’d on other grounds by Advance Tech. Consultants, Inc. v. Roadtrac, LLC, 250 Ga. App. 317, 551 S.E.2d 735 (2001); Allen v. Hub Cap Heaven, 225 Ga. App. 533, 539, 484 S.E.2d 259, 265 (1997) (same). The article also cites three cases holding that two-year nondisclosure agreements were enforceable: Lee v. Envtl. Pest & Termite Control, Inc., 271 Ga. 371, 374, 516 S.E.2d 76,78-79 (1999); Physician Specialists in Anesthesia, P.C. v. MacNeill, 246 Ga. App. 398, 408, 539 S.E.2d 216,225 (2000); Griffin, 215 Ga. App. at 63, 449 S.E.2d at 860.