In a patent infringement case pending in a California federal court, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The parties jointly requested leave to submit to the court under seal, or with redactions, documents containing trade secrets and other confidential information. The court granted the request only in part. Icon-IP Pty Ltd. v. Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-03844 (N.D. … Continue Reading
Delaware has long been one of the jurisdictions most friendly to the interests of corporations and is the state of incorporation for a significant majority of corporations. While that trend does not seem likely to change, a new Delaware Chancery Court decision should give pause to choice of law decisions of Delaware … Continue Reading
Status of the cases. In one of the two lawsuits, the employment agreement included a Tennessee choice of law provision. Louisiana courts are more protective of employees than courts in Tennessee. Since the parties had contacts with both states, naturally … Continue Reading
Status of the case. A multi-count complaint filed in the D.C. District Court charged two former employees of the plaintiff with breaches of contract and tort violations. The defendants moved to dismiss. The court held that some of the … Continue Reading
A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals, Holland Ins. Group, LLC v. Senior Life Ins. Co., 766 S.E.2d 187 (Nov. 20, 2014), includes several excellent reminders regarding the enforceability (and unenforceability) of restrictive covenants in Georgia.
Relevant Facts and Holding
William Holland and Senior Life Insurance Company entered into an agreement (“Agreement”) authorizing Holland to sell Senior Life’s … Continue Reading
Courts are divided on the enforceability by an assignee of a non-compete covenant relating to personal services where the covenant does not state whether it is assignable and the employee does not consent to the assignment.
Status of the case. A non-compete agreement signed by an employee of TSG, Inc., purported to be effective for two years after his termination … Continue Reading
The Federal Circuit recently held that the dismissal of a trade secrets complaint for failure to state a justiciable claim was not warranted merely because the misconduct allegedly involved a number of wrongdoers and began many years before the complaint was filed.
Overview of the case. ABB alleged that, during a several decade period, some of its former employees engaged … Continue Reading
Plaintiff’s motion to enforce a settlement agreement in principle was denied because some material terms of that agreement were not included in the version the plaintiff sought to enforce. GeoLogic Computer Sys., Inc. v. MacLean, Case No. 10-13569 (D. Mich., Dec. 10, 2014).
Status of the case. Counsel for the parties to a software copyright infringement lawsuit purportedly reached … Continue Reading
Employers, although contractually free to terminate the employment of at-will employees for any reason, at any time, cannot dismiss an employee in violation of public policy. A prime California public policy is that employers cannot retaliate against whistleblowers—individuals who have reported suspected unlawful employer conduct. In January 2014, the Legislature expanded the general whistleblowing statute, Labor Code section 1102.5, to … Continue Reading
At some point in his or her legal education, every law student discovers one of the more strikingly unique rules about the profession that he or she aspires to enter. Unlike laws governing physicians, accountants, engineers, and virtually all other professions, rules governing the practice of law impose a nearly absolute prohibition on lawyer non-compete agreements. At the same time, … Continue Reading
On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, in the final installment of our 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Baniak, Joseph Lanser and Randy Bruchmiller will focus on considerations involving protecting trade secrets and intellectual property in business transactions, including, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.
Summary of topics:How to properly address… Continue Reading
The IP Institute brings together preeminent speakers from leading companies and law firms to share tips “from the trenches.” The Institute covers a great array of topics affecting our clients, such as trademarks, copyrights, licensing, litigation, … Continue Reading
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 an effort to preempt another “Bridgegate” scandal, New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg has sponsored a bill to extend whistleblower protection to employees who disclose incidents of wasted public funds, governmental abuse, or gross mismanagement. On October 9, 2014, the New Jersey Senate’s Labor Committee approved Bill S-768, which, … Continue Reading
Most people stop taking math in high school. Geometry was often the culprit that either made someone enjoy solving problems involving Greek letters or become completely disinterested. All those arcs and triangles…how does any of that apply to life as an attorney?
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
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
In Seyfarth’s seventh installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys, Justin K. Beyer, Dawn Mertineit, and James Yu discussed practical steps employers can take to protect … 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 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 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
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
In Hallmark Cards Inc. v. Monitor Clipper Partners LLC et al., 2014 WL 3409953 (8th Cir. July 15, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a $31.3 million dollar jury verdict, which included $10 million in punitive damages, in favor of Hallmark Cards, Inc. (“Hallmark”) against a private equity firm known as Monitor Clipper Partners … Continue Reading