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Seeking Help: Nondisclosure vs. generic QMS documents

D

Dog Bruno

#1
I stumbled upon this forum when searching for Quality Management Systems Procedures, and forms.

I shared some Quality Management documents such as non conformances, management review (documents that I thought were generic) with my new company, now my old company is trying to sue me for non disclosure violations.

These documents do not contain any trade secrets whatsoever. I was advised by my attorney to scour the internet, see if those documents can be found, if so, they are not considered confidential in the court of law.

I have been finding a lot of the stuff (procedures and forms) all through the web but this forum is off the hook- great minds.

I need every bit of help and advise that I could get to prove to them that Quality Management Sytems procedures and forms are generic and obtained on the internet.

Please someone, channel me to the right links that cover the basic procedures and forms used in QMS.

Thank you.
 
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pkost

Trusted Information Resource
#4
You will find many examples posted on the web of forms and procedures that are commonly found in a QMS. The point is that the ones used by your ex-employer are likely to be distinct and therefore covered under an NDA especially if they reveal even a hint of the internal operations of a company.

Although new employees frequently disclose information about the ex employers and ex employers almost expect it to happen, that doesn't make it right, even if it is relatively trivial information. I would suggest you get some good legal advice because it would seem to me that you are in a very precarious position.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#5
I stumbled upon this forum when searching for Quality Management Systems Procedures, and forms.

I shared some Quality Management documents such as non conformances, management review (documents that I thought were generic) with my new company, now my old company is trying to sue me for non disclosure violations.

These documents do not contain any trade secrets whatsoever. I was advised by my attorney to scour the internet, see if those documents can be found, if so, they are not considered confidential in the court of law.

I have been finding a lot of the stuff (procedures and forms) all through the web but this forum is off the hook- great minds.

I need every bit of help and advise that I could get to prove to them that Quality Management Sytems procedures and forms are generic and obtained on the internet.

Please someone, channel me to the right links that cover the basic procedures and forms used in QMS.

Thank you.
If you signed a nondisclosure agreement, the terms of that agreement might even include a prohibition from disclosing the agreement itself and any of its terms to third parties. Follow the advice of your attorney and don't look for (or accept as meaningful) legal advice on the Internet.
 
P

pldey42

#6
"I could get to prove to them that Quality Management Sytems procedures and forms are generic and obtained on the internet."

This applies to only some. As pkhost notes, many quality management systems contain trade secrets - know how, "how we do things faster and better than our competitors." Processes can be intellectual property and subject to NDAs. Such processes and their documentation are not generic, but written by people who know the process, and have improved it over years of painful experience. They're repositories of company know-how, precious, and certainly not to be shared - especially with competitors.

I believe you will need to examine every document and show that it was, indeed, specifically downloaded from the internet. (If they were, why not direct your new employer to the appropriate links? If you don't know where they came from, how do you know they are not proprietary, property of your former employer?) If these documents say something like "Copyright MyFormerEmployer inc" and there's no trace of the download source, you're likely to be in trouble.

From your former employer's perspective, they may also be concerned about any other documents of theirs you may have, and they may be sending you a warning shot. If you're working now for a competitor of theirs, they will almost certainly want to make it difficult for you to transfer their know-how to your new home.

Hope this helps,
Pat
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#7
The first thing to do is for you to tell us specifically what kinds of documents you are referring to. For example, often form content will be quite generic. The form layout is another aspect. Think Prior Art, if you will.
 
J

Jason PCSwitches

#9
I thank you very much.... great place this is.
The fact that your attorney has YOU doing research tells me something, they have a case.

There has to be more to this than just some standard documentation. When you departed the organization previously employing you what happened and how did the separation go? How big is the organization and how much documentation did you essentially steal?

Regardless, those documents belong to the organization and you cannot externally distribute them without authorization. Be careful, you could end up in quite a pickle.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#10
The fact that your attorney has YOU doing research tells me something, they have a case. <snip>
Not necessarily. Amongst other aspects, few attorneys specialize in this type of thing. I've been through some legal proceedings in my life and the attorney typically asked me to provide him with information about aspects of the case, some of which I had to do the leg work to get. Well, unless it's a Perry Mason case with a Paul Drake to do the leg work.

In this case the attorney probably wouldn't know where to look anyway, and even if s/he did they would charge $$$$ to do so. My bet is Dog Bruno doesn't have a few hundred grand (US$) to spend for a high powered attorney who specializes in this type of case to defend him.

Other than that I pretty much agree with your post.
 
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