An employee executed an employment agreement which included a two-year covenant not to solicit the employer’s customers. When the employer sold the company’s assets, the sale included that agreement. The employee then went to work for the assets purchaser but subsequently resigned. The Texas Appellate Court held that the two-year period began to run on the date the assets seller … Continue Reading
In many cases, the execution of a mutual release is often the last step in resolving a trade secret or non-compete case. Typically included in the release is an affirmation that all confidential information has been returned and the once former adversaries promise not to sue one another. Once the release is executed, the fight is usually over. Usually, but … Continue Reading
In a recent Texas federal court ruling, a competitor closely aligned with, and seemingly assisted by, a signatory of a non-compete covenant narrowly avoided a preliminary injunction because the assistance was not shown to have been substantial.
Summary of the case. In connection with the purchase and sale of a partnership’s assets, a partner of the seller signed a covenant … Continue Reading
A Florida franchisee executed a franchise agreement (FA) containing a non-compete provision and a Pennsylvania forum selection clause. Following termination of the FA, the former franchisee’s wife opened a similar business in another part of Florida. The franchisor filed suit in Pennsylvania against the former franchisee and his wife, and they moved to dismiss or, alternatively, to transfer the case … Continue Reading
An employee who had executed a two-year non-compete was let go. He returned to work 10 days later but was not asked to sign a new agreement. More than two years after his return, he was terminated and became an employee of a competitor. A lawsuit seeking to enforce the non-compete was dismissed on the ground that it had expired.… Continue Reading
The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the covenant’s territorial restriction was overbroad. Notwithstanding the state’s “strict blue pencil doctrine,” which limits a judge’s authority to revise a non-compete clause, the appellate court … Continue Reading
As you may recall, we recently reported that Massachusetts legislators’ attempts to pass a bill altering the landscape of non-compete enforceability (including Governor Deval Patrick’s bold push to ban non-compete agreements altogether) failed yet again. As has become a nearly perennial event in the Commonwealth, efforts to push legislation through by the close of the session were frenzied, but ultimately … Continue Reading
As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry about non-compete covenants in India by technology and corporate attorneys Sajai Singh and Soumya Patnaik of J. Sagar Associates in Bengaluru, India. Sajai serves as the President of ITechLaw, a leading technology law organization. This entry is part one … Continue Reading
In China, employers may require the employee to continue to perform the non-compete obligation and pay liquidated damages in accordance with the non-compete agreement after breach occurs.
In the past, however, the following uncertainties could impede the employer from … Continue Reading
The plaintiff corporation — now a Delaware LLC based in Kansas — was headquartered in Alberta, Canada at the time its employees signed agreements containing confidentiality and non-compete covenants. The agreements designated the applicable law to be that of Alberta. When its ex-employees allegedly violated the covenants, the plaintiff sued them and their new employer in a Kansas federal court. … Continue Reading
The fifth webinar in the 2014 series, was presented by Wan Li, Ming Henderson, Justine Turnbull and Daniel Hart, focused on non-compete and trade secret considerations from an international perspective. Specifically, the webinar involved a discussion … Continue Reading
In Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers  EWHC 2633 the High Court held that an employer does not have to accept that a ‘walk out’ by an employee will terminate the contractual relationship. The employer has … Continue Reading
They are scheduled to be joined by in-house counsel Pamela Davidson from U.S. Foods, Karen Tompkins from Stryker, Lisa Seilheimer from CDW, and Jerry Cohen from Burns & Levinson LLP.
The panel will … Continue Reading
On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Scott Humphrey, Jason Stiehl and Rebecca Woods will present the sixth installment in its series of 2014 Trade Secret Webinars. They will focus on trade secret and client relationship considerations in the banking and finance industry, with a particular focus on a firm’s relationship with its FINRA members. Topics … Continue Reading
Although, as we have previously reported, the Massachusetts legislature arguably got closer to enacting a non-compete statute this year than ever before ─ which, if Governor Deval Patrick had his druthers, would have banned them outright ─ there will be no new legislation this year according to our sources. The legislative session ends today.
In a well-written recent opinion concerning violation of both a confidentiality/non-compete agreement and a preliminary injunction, a federal judge explained in detail why she was awarding liquidated damages, entering a permanent injunction, and assessing legal fees.
Summary of the Case
Two financial planners, one an individual and the other a corporation, negotiated a merger of their businesses. Before being provided … Continue Reading
The traditional approach taken by the English Courts to restrictive covenants was confirmed in the decision of the Court of Appeal in Prophet plc v Huggett  EWCA Civ 1013. The Court of Appeal overturned a High Court judge’s decision that the words “or similar thereto” should be added to the relevant clause in order for it to make … Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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