Header graphic for print
Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Category Archives: Restrictive Covenants

Subscribe to Restrictive Covenants RSS Feed

Is An Offer Of At-Will Employment Adequate Consideration For A Non-Compete? Recent Court Rulings Split Three Ways

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

Three very recent decisions reflect the irreconcilable division of judicial authority regarding the adequacy of at-will employment as the sole consideration for an otherwise valid non-compete.  Compare (a) Standard Register Co. v. Keala, No. 14-00291 (D. Haw., June 8, 2015) (adequate under Hawaii law) (“majority rule”), with (b) Hunn v. Dan Wilson Homes, Inc., Nos. 13-11297 and 14-10365 … Continue Reading

Texas Don’t Hold ‘Em: Forum Selection Clause Is Unenforceable

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

By: Joshua A. Rodine and Jonathan L. Brophy

California courts generally favor forum selection clauses entered into freely by parties and where enforcement is not unreasonable. This general principle is true even if the forum selection clause is “mandatory” and requires a party to litigate its dispute exclusively in the designated forum. The party opposing enforcement of a forum selection … Continue Reading

The Sounds of Silence: Non-Compete Reform Efforts Largely Absent in Massachusetts Legislature

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

Last summer was a busy time for legislators in Massachusetts mulling over non-compete reform. As we reported here and here, several competing bills were in play as the legislative session drew to a close, including a compromise bill that was passed in the state Senate but ultimately failed to advance in the House. You may even recall that then-Governor … Continue Reading

Legal 500 Names Seyfarth Shaw as a Finalist for Top Trade Secrets Litigation Department in the U.S.

Posted in Computer Fraud, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

The 2015 edition of The Legal 500 United States recommends Seyfarth Shaw’s Trade Secrets group as one of the best in the country.

Nationally, our Trade Secrets practice retained its position in Tier 2. For the second year in a row, our practice has been named to the shortlist for best trade secrets practice in the U.S., and we are … Continue Reading

Court Affirms California Attorney General’s Demand for Confidential Donor List

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

By: Ofer Lion, Douglas M. Mancino, and Christian Canas

Unwelcome news for charities concerned with donor confidentiality

A recent court ruling1 upheld the position of the California Attorney General (AG) requiring that charities located or operating in California provide a copy of their unredacted Form 990 Schedule B, including the names, addresses and contribution amounts for all donors … Continue Reading

Employee Social Networking: Protecting Your Trade Secrets in Social Media Webinar

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Social Media, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. Central, in the fourth installment of our 2015 Trade Secret Webinars, Seyfarth attorneys John Tomaszewski, Eric Barton and Joshua Salinas will address the relationship between trade secrets, social media, and privacy.

The Seyfarth panel will specifically address the following topics:

Defining, understanding, and protecting trade secrets in social media, including a deeper… Continue Reading

Aggressive SEC Enforcement Efforts Regarding Confidentiality Agreements Will Continue

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants

By Ada W. Dolph

In a post-script to the SEC’s April 1 cease and desist order penalizing KBR, Inc. for a confidentiality statement that failed to carve out protected federal whistleblower complaints (our alert on it here), SEC Office of the Whistleblower Chief Sean McKessy today made additional comments that suggest public companies as well as private companies that … Continue Reading

Beware of the Delaware Choice of Law in Non-Compete Agreements

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

By Justin K. Beyer and Matthew I. Hafter

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

Non-Solicitation Covenant That Is Silent As To Its Scope May Be Unenforceable

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants

An employment agreement covenant prohibiting solicitation of co-employees, but not indicating what solicitations were prohibited, has been held to be invalid.

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

Upcoming Webinar: Protecting Confidential Information and Client Relationships in the Financial Services Industry

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, March 10th at 12:00 p.m. central, in the second installment of our 2015 Trade Secret Webinars, Seyfarth attorneys Scott Humphrey, Jason Stiehl and James Yu 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 will include:

Practical steps financial… Continue Reading

Appellate Court Re-Affirms Key Aspects of Georgia Non-Compete Law

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

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

No Stick Without a Carrot: UK Court Refuses to Enforce Post-Employment Restrictive Covenants

Posted in Restrictive Covenants

The recent decision of the High Court in Re-use Collections Limited v. Sendall & May Glass Recycling Ltd. serves as a useful reminder for employers: restrictive covenants introduced during the employment relationship (rather than at the point of hiring) require specific consideration if they are to be enforceable. Under UK law, changes to employment terms require consideration if they are … Continue Reading

French Court Rules That A Confidentiality Clause Does Not Require Any Financial Compensation to Be Lawful

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

As many readers will know, non-compete clauses in employment contracts are only valid in France if, among other conditions, an employee receives a financial consideration of 40 to 60% salary depending on the sector and the role for the duration of the restriction. But do confidentiality clauses need to be subject to the same treatment?

The recently published decision of … Continue Reading

Non-Compete And Non-Solicitation Covenants Contained In Bovine Artificial Insemination Employment Agreements Held Unenforceable

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

Several ex-employees now may compete with their former employer, and may solicit its employees and customers, after a federal judge in the Eastern District of Washington held that the restrictive provisions in their employment agreements are unenforceable. 

The agreements, drafted by the former employer, contained a choice-of-law provision which the former employer tried unsuccessfully to invalidate.  The court also held … Continue Reading

Please Join Us for an In-Person Seyfarth Shaw Briefing: Trade Secret Protection Best Practices

Posted in Data Theft, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

Who Should Attend:  In-house counsel, IT professionals, HR professionals, Privacy professionals, corporate executives, risk managers, and directors.

When & Where: This program will be held at three different locations.

November 13th at Seyfarth Shaw’s San Francisco Office (lunch and registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., program will begin at noon and go until 1:30 p.m.).

November 18th at Seyfarth Shaw’s … Continue Reading

Customer Non-Solicitation Covenant Runs From Date Employment With Asset Seller Terminated, Not From Later Date Employment With Asset Purchaser Ended

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

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

“Bridgegate” Triggers Proposed Expansion of New Jersey Whistleblower Protections

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

By Ada W. Dolph, Robert T. Syzba and Jade Wallace

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

When “The End” Is Not “The End”: Asserting Trade Secret Claims After The Execution of a Mutual Release

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

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

Kansas Federal Court Denies Preliminary Injunction For Alleged Violation Of Confidentiality And Non-Compete Covenants under Canadian Law

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

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

Webinar Recap! International Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Law Update

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

We are pleased to announce the webinar “International Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Law Update,” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

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

United Kingdom Update on Contractual Notice Periods and Restrictive Covenants

Posted in International, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

An employee cannot ‘walk out’ and refuse to work to avoid their notice period and the restrictive covenants contained in their contract of employment.

In Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers [2014] 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

Seyfarth Attorneys Present on Latest Developments in Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Law At ABA Annual Meeting

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

Seyfarth partners Robert Milligan and Kate Perrelli will lead a CLE program for the ABA IPCentral Conference during the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Boston on August 7th.

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

Upcoming Webinar: Protecting Confidential Information and Client Relationships in the Financial Services Industry

Posted in Data Theft, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

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

Liquidated Damages, A Permanent Injunction, and Attorneys’ Fees Awarded For Violating Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreement And Preliminary Injunction

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

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