Touzot was an employee of ROM, a seller of products used in making balsa wood model planes and boats. His employment agreement included a post-termination customer non-solicitation covenant. After he left ROM, he became a competitor. The company sued him and his Ecuadorian supplier of balsa wood, which previously had been ROM’s supplier, alleging that they were colluding to steal … Continue Reading
Over the last decade, communication via email and text has become a vital part of how many of us communicate in the workplace. In fact, most employees could not fathom the idea of performing their jobs without the use of email. For convenience, employees often use one device for both personal and work-related communications, whether that device is employee-owned or … Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Treasury recently released a study on the effect of non-compete agreements, taking a hard line with respect to their social and economic benefits and purported harms. Specifically, while the authors of the study acknowledge that in some cases non-compete agreements can promote innovation, they ultimately conclude that the potential harm of misuse by employers outweighs those … Continue Reading
Over the past several years, technology has dramatically increased employee accountability in the workplace. For example, in an office environment, employees are expected to respond to emails immediately because they are either sitting in front of their computers or carrying a mobile device on which they can access their email. As for employees who work outside the … Continue Reading
As January quickly passed by and new projects increase by the day, there is still a golden opportunity to capitalize on some low-hanging fruit to immediately improve your company’s practices and add immediate value to your company. The opportunity lies in improving your company’s restrictive covenant and confidentiality agreements and confidentiality policies. Below are five tips that you can employ … Continue Reading
On Friday, January 29, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas will present the first installment of the 2016 Trade Secrets Webinar series. The presenters will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secrets and data theft, non-competes and other restrictive … Continue Reading
We will now look at the different types of post-employment restrictive covenants, and work through a checklist of questions employers should ask themselves when drafting a restraint to make sure it’s the right fit.
A good restraint is not about creating the ultimate “catch all” provision. Rather, it requires a series of good choices … Continue Reading
When a key employee subject to an employment restraint leaves a business to join a competitor, fast decisions need to be made to protect client goodwill or guard against misuse of confidential information.
The more leverage an employer has against the former employee and his or her new employer, the better the prospects of negotiating a sensible solution quickly or, … Continue Reading
Throughout 2015, Seyfarth Shaw’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever-changing area of law. The series consisted of nine webinars:2014 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer… Continue Reading
In a case solely comprised of state-law claims to enforce employment covenants, a United States District Judge in the North District of Texas ruled last week in Leica Microsystems Inc. v. Hernandez et al., No. 3:15-CV-2531-D, 2015 WL 7424770 (Nov. 23, 2015) that a defendant’s characterization of the plaintiff’s complaint as conduct violating federal antitrust laws was insufficient to establish … Continue Reading
In a landmark ruling of first impression, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that an employer’s non-competition covenant, which included the employee’s pledge not to challenge the covenant for inadequate consideration, is unenforceable unless it is accompanied by a change in job status or some other significant benefit. Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc., Case No. 3-40-2015 (Nov. 18, … Continue Reading
In recent weeks, courts almost routinely have been denying preliminary injunctive relief in cases alleging violation of non-compete and similar employment agreements. Three examples: Burleigh v. Center Point Contractors, 2015 Ark. App. 615 (Oct. 28, 2015); Evans v. Generic Solution Engineering, LLC, Case No. 5D15-578 (Fla. App., Oct. 30, 2015); and Great Lakes Home Health Services Inc. v. … Continue Reading
Though an employer may be eager to bring a trade secret claim against former employees as soon as possible, filing suit before properly vetting the claim can lead to serious consequences: a malicious prosecution case against the lawyers who signed the pleadings.
A law firm is fighting such allegations in California after losing at bench trial on behalf of FLIR … Continue Reading
For Dumpling Daughter and its newly opened rival Dumpling Girl, things are heating up in the kitchen and the courtroom, as reported by the Boston Globe, after the former filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston asserting a host of claims against Dumpling Girl and its three owners, including misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, trademark infringement, conversion, … Continue Reading
In a recent ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave employers a great recourse for dealing with former employees who breach their duty of loyalty. In Bruce Kaye v. Alan P. Rosefielde, the Court allowed an employer to recover compensation paid to a disloyal, recently terminated, employee, even where the employer sustained no … Continue Reading
After first securing an executed confidentiality agreement, Destiny, the developer of a proprietary healthcare wellness program called “Vitality,” shared details of it with Cigna, a healthcare insurer. The insurer decided instead to create a wellness product … Continue Reading
Spock: “I am a [lawyer], sir. We embrace technicalities.”
Arbitration is no longer the final frontier. Instead, arbitration is often the first and only forum for resolving disputes. The business community has embraced arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution, but sophisticated parties still maintain a preference favoring court resolution … Continue Reading
A preliminary injunction was entered against a fired executive of a roofer who, immediately after he was discharged, went to work for an alleged competitor. The district court held, and the Seventh Circuit agreed, that his non-compete and non-solicit agreements were overbroad and confusing, but that some injunctive relief nonetheless was warranted in this case. Turnell v. CentiMark Corp., … Continue Reading
There are indeed limits to the reach of the anti-SLAPP statute, particularly in the trade secret context. In West Hills Research and Development, Inc. v. Terrence M. Wyles, a California appellate court ruled that engaging in activity to set up a competing business is not protected activity under the anti-SLAPP statute.
Summary of the Case
West Hills, a medical … Continue Reading
For the latest on the copyright preemption doctrine (codified at 17 U.S.C. § 301(a)) look no further than the Fifth Circuit, which, together with its district courts, issued a string of recent decisions regarding the preemption of trade secret claims involving software. Most recently, the Fifth Circuit found that preemption extends to all fixed original works of authorship, even those … Continue Reading
As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry by Pamela Passman, President and CEO for the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe.org)
-Robert Milligan, Editor of Trading Secrets
Regional and national laws are increasingly focusing on the specific steps that companies … Continue Reading
Join Seyfarth Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Co-Chair Robert B. Milligan at the 2015 ABA-IPL Annual Meeting in Chicago on July 30, 2015. Robert will join expert panelists to discuss significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions over the past year, as well as the ongoing effort to federalize trade secret … Continue Reading
Where a freely negotiated contract between two sophisticated companies included a provision barring an award of monetary relief for breach of contract, the court will enforce the provision as written and award no economic damages. CH2O, Inc. v. Meras Engineering, Inc., No. 45728-8-II (Wash. App. Court, July 21, 2015) (unpublished opinion).
Status of the Case
A non-exclusive distributorship agreement … Continue Reading