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While reading an article about web design, I came across the sentence about the NDA that confused me. Please help to clear out the meaning.

"That was an open ended brief, and it led to some of the most interesting periods of exploration and pondering in my career. As far as I’m aware the workings of the preexisting typography system are still cloaked by my NDA, but it was essentially human-specified. As a reaction to this I defined my own brief as “a system that can understand, select & apply typography with the nuance of an expert human designer”. No biggie." -- http://www.jon.gold/2016/05/robot-design-school/

Does the author mean that the works that existed before he had been hired were protected by HIS non-disclosure agreement? Does "cloaked by NDA" mean the preexisting works were PROTECTED and he still can't share the details?

  • He just means he believes the NDA stops him from disclosing details about how the preexisting typography system worked, but this doesn't prevent him telling us that the essence of that system was that a human [expert] designer made the decisions. Most likely he defined his brief with those exact words so that once the customer had signed for the job to be done, he could wave it under the nose of the guy who currently makes all those decisions, and demand that this "expert" explain all the "rules" in precise detail, so he can automate the process using smart software. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 13 '17 at 17:15
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"Does the author mean that the works that existed before he had been hired were protected by HIS non-disclosure agreement?"

Yes. He joined the firm and signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. As he explored the firm's existing technology, he found some very interesting things, but he isn't going to tell us about the details. He thinks that his NDA covered intellectual property generated before he started, and even though he no longer works there, he is still bound by it.

He is comfortable giving a broad brush description ("...it was essentially human specified.")

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