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
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
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
Garrod, a salesman for more than 25 years in the field of elastomeric precision products (EPP), was terminated in mid-2012 after spending an aggregate of a dozen of those years working for manufacturers of EPP parts Fenner and a company acquired by Fenner.
He had signed both employers’ agreements containing non-compete and customer non-solicitation clauses–which appeared reasonable on their face–and … Continue Reading
Using a forum selection clause to transfer a case out of California federal court may have become easier thanks to a recent order from Judge Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In her order, Judge Koh granted defendants’ motion to transfer plaintiff’s complaint to Delaware federal … Continue Reading
On September 14, 2012, the State Bar of California Intellectual Property Section presented its 2012 IP and the Internet Conference. The conference featured high level experts from companies such as Twitter, Yahoo!, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Salseforce.com, True Religion Brand Jeans, and Autodesk, who covered emerging issues and hot topics in intellectual property and Internet law. Below are a few highlights … Continue Reading
By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh
In today’s dynamic environment of interstate commerce, including internet transactions, deciding on the proper venue for a trade secret misappropriation dispute can be a complicated process involving a number of different factors particularly if the parties are domiciled and/or transact business in different states.
In the case of GLT Technovations, LLC v. Fownes Brothers … Continue Reading
The case of Mintz v. Mark Bartelstein & Associates d/b/a Priority Sports & Entertainment, recently filed in the Central District of California, provides an interesting look at both non-compete and trade secret law, as seen through the world of a sports agent.
Aaron Mintz, a National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) certified player-agent, allegedly resigned from Priority Sports & Entertainment on … Continue Reading
Under Texas law, a restraint on competition without reasonable time and geographical limitations is unenforceable. Although New York generally disfavors an unreasonable non-competition covenant, there is an exception under the employee-choice doctrine. A recent Texas appellate court panel, applying Texas law, reversed a lower court order declaring valid under New York law an employment contract provision imposing a substantial penalty … Continue Reading
Contractual choice of law provisions often seek to apply the law of the state that, when applied by a court to the contract at issue, is most likely to result in favorable interpretations, application, and/or enforcement of those provisions in the contract most valued by the contracting parties. However, when the law chosen is of a state different than the … Continue Reading
Courts around the country are split as to the circumstances under which the parties’ choice of law set forth in a non-compete agreement will be honored. In a recent diversity jurisdiction case ruling, Arizona U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell recently refused to enjoin violations of a non-compete clause which said that the law of Washington State applied. He held that Arizona … Continue Reading
Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, faced with an unreasonable non-compete/non-solicitation agreement, indicated that he would have preferred to hold it invalid but said that he had no choice other than to modify its terms because its Maryland choice-of-law provision requires judicial “blue penciling.” He did enjoin the ex-employee from using his ex-employer’s customer list, a trade secret, … Continue Reading