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Category Archives: Non-Compete Enforceability

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There Are Many Ways to Milk a Cow and Not All Are Protected Trade Secrets

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

A consultant of a company entered into a consulting agreement with a competitor. The scope of his consultancy of the first company involved dairy-permeate processing systems and the second involved lactose-processing systems. The Court of Appeals of Minnesota found that these businesses were sufficiently distinct such that disclosure of information regarding one business would not violate the non-compete agreement prohibiting … Continue Reading

Seyfarth to Host Webinar on International Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Law

Posted in International, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

When the Walt Disney Company built the “It’s a Small World” ® ride for the New York World’s Fair in 1964, they probably had no idea of the challenges that globalization could pose 50 years later. From cases involving the sale of stolen trade secrets to foreign companies to departing employees setting up competing business in different jurisdictions, many … Continue Reading

Rebecca Woods on Recent Kentucky Supreme Court Decision Holding that Non-Compete Failed for Lack of Consideration

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

In a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, Creech v. Brown (June 19, 2014), the court affirmed that in Kentucky, noncompetition agreements must be supported by adequate consideration in order to be enforceable. The circumstance addressed by the court involved an employee who was presented with a noncompetition and confidentiality agreement after working for the employer for … Continue Reading

Trading Secrets Readers: Cast Your Vote in the ABA’s 100 Best Legal Blogs Competition!

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Voting is open for the American Bar Association’s Annual 100 Best Legal Blogs competition. You helped us get named to the list in 2013, and we hope you will cast your vote today to help keep Seyfarth’s Trading Secrets blog on the ABA’s list for 2014.

Trading Secrets is a resource for employers and legal professionals that provides timely legal … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Offers 2014-2015 Edition of 50 State Desktop Reference: What Employers Need to Know About Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

What Employers Need To Know About Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law

There is no denying that there exists a variety of statutes and case law across the country when it comes to employee non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, as well as the protection of proprietary information. All too often, what is enforceable in one state may be questionable in another and … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Alabama Federal Court Ruling that Non-Compete Signed Prior to Employment is Void

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants

A few months ago, we reported on a federal court decision in the Southern District of Alabama declining to enforce a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement against a former employee who executed the agreement before he began his employment. Last week, a panel of the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision in an unpublished opinion.

As we reported following … Continue Reading

Florida Court Finds That Employer Without Knowledge That Employees It Just Hired Have Non-Competes Are Not Liable For Tortious Interference With Contract

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

A defendant company was unaware, when it hired two individuals, that they had entered into non-competition agreements with their prior employer.  As a result, according to a Florida federal court, the prior employer did not have a valid cause of action against the new employer for intentionally interfering with those non-compete obligations. 

Summary of the Case

During their employment by … Continue Reading

On the Eve of The Esplanade July 4th Fireworks Celebration – Massachusetts May Not Blow Up Non-Competes After All – A Compromise is in the Air

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

There are signs that the debate over whether to ban non-competes may end in a compromise, a result many, including this blog, have predicted.

As we reported in Friday’s post, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies held a public hearing yesterday at the Statehouse on HB4802, which would adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), … Continue Reading

Another Public Hearing Scheduled for Massachusetts Non-Compete Bill: What’s Next?

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

We reported in our post of June 11th that Governor Patrick had introduced a sweeping economic growth bill (HB4045) — that, if passed, would ban employee non-competes in the Commonwealth. We also explained that subsequent to Governor Patrick’s bill, another bill (HB4082), was introduced that stripped Governor’s Patrick’s bill and left only those portions dealing with trade secrets … Continue Reading

Upcoming On-Demand Webinar: International Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Law Update

Posted in International, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

To accommodate our global audience, the fifth installment in the 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series will be available as an on-demand broadcast on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Central. Please register to receive access to the broadcast.

Seyfarth attorneys Wan Li, Ming Henderson, Justine Turnbull and Daniel Hart  will focus on non-compete and trade secret considerations from an … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislative Update

Posted in International, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

We are pleased to announce the webinar “Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislative Update” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s fourth installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys discussed the significant changes to several laws regarding trade secrets,  restrictive covenants, and social media, as well as proposed legislation pending in other jurisdictions.… Continue Reading

Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Employee mobility in the pharmaceutical industry is a significant concern for employers given the industry’s very significant investment in and reliance upon generating and protecting confidential, proprietary and trade secret information that is used to develop products and create and maintain customer relationships.

Non-competition and customer non-solicitation agreements are one of the primary tools available in most states to protect … Continue Reading

Divided Appellate Court Voids Employer’s Non-Compete Covenants Because One Employee Did Not Sign

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

In a decision marked not-for-publication, a Minnesota Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s invalidation of a two-year non-competition agreement signed by a long time employee.  He was discharged 11 years after he signed.  He then went to work for a competitor of his former employer.  The majority reasoned that the non-compete lacked independent consideration since it was not executed by … Continue Reading

Inching Closer to California: An Update on Massachusetts Non-Compete Legislation

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

As we have previously reported, in April of this year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick introduced a sweeping economic growth bill (HB4045) that, if passed, would ban employee non-competes in the Commonwealth.  The bill has taken a somewhat convoluted path to date, and we wanted to update you on some notable twists and turns.

First, in mid-May, yet another bill … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislative Update

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Social Media, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. central, in Seyfarth’s fourth installment of our 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Kate Perrelli, Dawn Mertineit and Daniel Hart will discuss the significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions over the past year.  As trade secrets … Continue Reading

Employee’s Competition With Former Employer Restricted Despite Absence Of Signed Non-Compete

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The former employer failed to prove that the parties entered into an effective non-compete agreement, and also failed to prove that the ex-employee had disclosed or had threatened to disclose trade secrets.  But, an Ohio federal judge entered a preliminary injunction forbidding her, until further order, from contacting her former employer’s clients and certain of its prospects.  PharMerica Corp. v. Continue Reading

Bob Stevens Reflecting On Georgia’s Non-Compete Law at its Third Anniversary

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Georgia’s restrictive covenant statute turns three years old this week and Seyfarth Shaw partner Bob Stevens offers insight into the significant changes in the law and how Courts are interpreting those changes. The legal changes are not only significant but anecdotal evidence from trial courts reflects that at least some trial courts view the change in law as an almost … Continue Reading

Hiring Employees with Non-Compete Agreements: Tread Lightly

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants

Excited about the prospect of a talented new hire and think that her non-compete doesn’t affect you? Think again. Under Virginia law, a future employer, who is aware of a prospective employee’s non-compete agreement, risks legal liability for tortious interference of contract and, through that, business conspiracy.

In DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc. v. Jones,  2014 WL 1165852 (E.D. Va. Mar. … Continue Reading

Bad Practices for Interviewing Competitors’ Employees and Dealing with Departing Employees

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

California is a unique jurisdiction because of its public policy against certain employee noncompetition agreements and post-termination restrictions on employee mobility. This general prohibition against noncompetes with employees  leaves trade secret laws as the primary mechanism for employers with California based employees to protect against the unlawful use or disclosure of valuable company information … Continue Reading

Unemployment Compensation Awarded To Ex-Employee Refusing Employer’s Order To Execute Non-Compete Covenant

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants

Don’t want to sign that new non-compete agreement that your employer just rolled out? Unempoyment compensation may be an option at least according to one new court decision.

An employee does not necessarily forfeit unemployment compensation if he or she is discharged, or resigns rather than waiting to be discharged, for declining to sign a mandated restrictive covenant.  Darr v. Continue Reading

Massachusetts Moves to Ban Non-Competes – Dawn Mertineit Explains What Employers Should Do Now

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

As we discussed on the blog not too long ago, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently introduced legislation that would eliminate virtually all employee non-compete agreements, with a few minor exceptions.  On April 23, Dawn Mertineit spoke with LexBlog’s Colin O’Keefe in a live online interview to discuss what this proposed legislation could mean for employers with Massachusetts operations.  Specifically, Dawn … Continue Reading

Ohio Court Issues Significant Non-Compete Decision: Damages for a Breach are the Payor’s Lost Profits, Not the Amount of Consideration

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

The usual measure of monetary damages for violation of a covenant not to compete, even where the violator was paid a discreet sum for the covenant, is the amount that puts the injured party in the same position it would have been in if the contract had been performed.  Briggs v. GLA Water Management, 2014 Ohio 1551 (Ohio App., … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Proposes Sweeping Legislation Banning Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

By Katherine E. Perrelli, Dawn Mertineit and Erik W. Weibust

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick proposed sweeping legislation that would eliminate employee non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.  While it remains to be seen whether this bill will actually become law, employers should be aware of the potential implications of this far-reaching bill, and should implement steps sooner rather than … Continue Reading

Update: Massachusetts Governor Proposes Sweeping Legislation Banning Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

By Katherine Perrelli, Dawn Mertineit, and Erik Weibust

As we reported last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proposed sweeping legislation that would eliminate employee non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.  Now that we have had an opportunity to review the Governor’s bill, entitled “An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity” (HB4045), we wanted to report back on its … Continue Reading