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Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Makes Last Ditch Effort to Pass Non-Compete Legislation Before His Term Ends

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

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

No Massachusetts Non-Compete or Trade Secret Legislation This Year

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

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.

As we last reported, … Continue Reading

On the Eve of The Esplanade July 4th Fireworks Celebration – Massachusetts May Not Blow Up Non-Competes After All – A Compromise is in the Air

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

There are signs that the debate over whether to ban non-competes may end in a compromise, a result many, including this blog, have predicted.

As we reported in Friday’s post, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies held a public hearing yesterday at the Statehouse on HB4802, which would adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), … Continue Reading

Another Public Hearing Scheduled for Massachusetts Non-Compete Bill: What’s Next?

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

We reported in our post of June 11th that Governor Patrick had introduced a sweeping economic growth bill (HB4045) — that, if passed, would ban employee non-competes in the Commonwealth. We also explained that subsequent to Governor Patrick’s bill, another bill (HB4082), was introduced that stripped Governor’s Patrick’s bill and left only those portions dealing with trade secrets … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislative Update

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

We are pleased to announce the webinar “Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislative Update” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s fourth installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys discussed the significant changes to several laws regarding trade secrets,  restrictive covenants, and social media, as well as proposed legislation pending in other jurisdictions.… Continue Reading

Inching Closer to California: An Update on Massachusetts Non-Compete Legislation

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

As we have previously reported, in April of this year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick introduced a sweeping economic growth bill (HB4045) that, if passed, would ban employee non-competes in the Commonwealth.  The bill has taken a somewhat convoluted path to date, and we wanted to update you on some notable twists and turns.

First, in mid-May, yet another bill … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Moves to Ban Non-Competes – Dawn Mertineit Explains What Employers Should Do Now

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

As we discussed on the blog not too long ago, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently introduced legislation that would eliminate virtually all employee non-compete agreements, with a few minor exceptions.  On April 23, Dawn Mertineit spoke with LexBlog’s Colin O’Keefe in a live online interview to discuss what this proposed legislation could mean for employers with Massachusetts operations.  Specifically, Dawn … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Proposes Sweeping Legislation Banning Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

By Katherine E. Perrelli, Dawn Mertineit and Erik W. Weibust

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick proposed sweeping legislation that would eliminate employee non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.  While it remains to be seen whether this bill will actually become law, employers should be aware of the potential implications of this far-reaching bill, and should implement steps sooner rather than … Continue Reading

Update: Massachusetts Governor Proposes Sweeping Legislation Banning Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

By Katherine Perrelli, Dawn Mertineit, and Erik Weibust

As we reported last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proposed sweeping legislation that would eliminate employee non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.  Now that we have had an opportunity to review the Governor’s bill, entitled “An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity” (HB4045), we wanted to report back on its … Continue Reading

Breaking News: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to Propose Legislation Eliminating Non-Compete Agreements in Certain Industries

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

By Dawn Mertineit and Erik Weibust

The Boston Globe reported this morning that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will propose legislation today that would eliminate non-compete agreements in technology, life sciences, and “other industries,” with his secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Greg Bialecki, stating that the administration “feel[s] like noncompetes are a barrier to innovation in Massachusetts.”  No word just … Continue Reading

Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2013

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, International, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Restrictive Covenants, Social Media, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

As part of our annual tradition, we are pleased to present our discussion of the top 10 developments/headlines in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law for 2013. Please join us for our complimentary webinar on March 6, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. P.S.T., where we will discuss them in greater detail. As with all Continue Reading

Tricks of the Trade Secrets – Can Casino Applications Be Kept Confidential?

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Erik Weibust and Dawn Mertineit

With the recent slew of casino application filings being submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, following the passage of the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act in 2011, a new question has many on Boston’s Beacon Hill scratching their heads – can the contents of such filings be considered trade secrets?

The Gaming Commission’s standard casino … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Confirms That When It Comes To Trade Secrets, Confidentiality Is Key

Posted in Trade Secrets

A recent case in Massachusetts confirms that taking affirmative steps to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets is absolutely critical to litigating a claim for misappropriation. In C.R.T.R. v. Lao, Plymouth Superior Court Docket No. 2011-962 (Dec. 30, 2013), the plaintiff sued a former independent contractor for, among other things, misappropriation of the company’s trade secrets. The defendant moved … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Judge Rules That Updating LinkedIn Does Not Constitute Solicitation

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Social Media

Judge Thomas P. Billings, of the Massachusetts Superior Court’s Business Litigation Session, recently declined to issue a preliminary injunction in a non-compete case brought by KNF&T Staffing, Inc. against its former employee, Charlotte Muller, who had left to join a competitor. Among other things, KNF&T alleged that Muller had updated her profile on LinkedIn to reflect her new position, “resulting … Continue Reading

Is Massachusetts Inching Closer to California? Governor Deval Patrick Issues Public Support for the “Outright Elimination” of Non-Compete Agreements

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

We attended a hearing today before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development regarding the pending non-compete legislation on which we have previously posted

Among others who testified about the issue was Governor Deval Patrick’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Gregory Bialecki. 

Mr. Bialecki finally acknowledged publicly what the Patrick Administration has been dancing around … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Non-Compete Legislative Update

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

On July 23, 2013, the Boston Bar Association hosted its 5th Annual Symposium on Employee Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets, and Job Creation.  

Speakers at the well-attended event included Senator William N. Brownsberger and Representative Lori A. Ehrlich, co-sponsors of a compromise non-compete bill that is working its way through the state legislature, along with Jennifer Lawrence, General Counsel of … Continue Reading

Material Change Defense To Non-Compete Enforcement Gaining Acceptance In Massachusetts

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

In a series of recent decisions by the Massachusetts Superior Court, a longstanding, but oftentimes unsuccessful, defense to the enforceability of non-compete agreements and other post-employment restrictive covenants has quietly been gaining acceptance.

Perhaps this is a result of the economy picking up and employees having increased options and mobility, or perhaps it is indicative of a growing hostility to … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Federal Court Narrowly Construes Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Holds That Company Cannot Sue Former Employees For Downloading Proprietary Information Absent Showing of Fraud

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Practice & Procedure

By Erik Weibust and Ryan Malloy

You may recall that we previously reported on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. v. Feldstein, et al., C.A. No. 13-40007, in which Judge Timothy S. Hillman of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts granted a preliminary injunction against three former employees of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) who allegedly stole trade secrets from the plaintiff, without … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Absent Showing of Actual Use of a Trade Secret and Potentially Expands the “Inevitable Disclosure” Doctrine

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

By Erik Weibust and Ryan Malloy

In an action for misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and other claims, Judge Hillman of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts recently granted a former employer’s motion for a preliminary injunction against three defendants who allegedly stole trade secrets from the plaintiff, without a showing that the defendants actually used that information for … Continue Reading

Pleading Former Employer’s Breach Of Employment Contract: Affirmative Defense Or Counterclaim To Suit For Violating Non-Compete And Non-Solicitation Covenants?

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

Affirmative defenses and compulsory counterclaims.  In many instances, the consideration for an ex-employee’s non-compete and non-solicitation covenants was new or continued employment.  If the former employer then breaches the employment contract — for example, by failing to pay all of the compensation and benefits to which the ex-employee was entitled — but nevertheless sues the ex-employee in an effort to … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Federal District Court Rules That Initiating Contact Not Necessary For Finding of Solicitation In Breach of Customer Non-Solicitation Agreement

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

By Erik Weibust and Ryan Malloy

An employer can enforce a non-solicitation provision against a former salesman even where the clients initiated contact with the salesman, according to Judge Douglas P. Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

In Corporate Technologies, Inc. v. Harnett, et al., , a Massachusetts information technology company, sued its former salesman, … Continue Reading

Is Massachusetts Next to Adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act?

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

Will Massachusetts join 46 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (the “UTSA”)? 

In January 2013, the Massachusetts Legislature proposed House Bill No. 27: An Act Making Uniform the Law Regarding Trade Secrets.  The bill seeks to repeal Sections 42 and 42A of chapter 93 of the Massachusetts … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Legislators Introduce “Noncompete Agreement Duration Act”

Posted in Legislation

By Erik Weibust and Ryan Malloy

Massachusetts has entered a new chapter in a long-standing effort to enact comprehensive non-compete reform in the Commonwealth. Recall from these previous posts that Senator Will Brownsberger and Representative Lori Ehrlich each introduced competing non-compete legislation in 2008 — Brownsberger’s would have gone the way of California and a few other states and banned … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Rules That Facebook Posting of New Job Does Not Violate Non-Competition Covenant

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

A hair salon’s motion for entry of a preliminary injunction against a stylist was denied even though she had signed non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements with the salon, and immediately after leaving her prior employment she was employed by a nearby competitor, a fact noted on her Facebook page. Invidia LLC v Difonzo, Case No. MICV20123798H (Middlesex [Mass.] County … Continue Reading