California, mecca of the film and media production industries in the U.S., is notorious for outlawing non-compete agreements. It is one of the few states that generally prohibits the unlawful restraint of one’s profession or business, with limited exceptions. (See … Continue Reading
Reversing a 2-1 decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the state’s Supreme Court held unanimously that an assets purchase-and-sale contract containing an unreasonable territorial non-competition restriction is unenforceable. Further, a court in that state must strike, and may not modify, the unreasonable provision. Beverage Systems of the Carolinas, LLC v. Associated Beverage Repair, LLC, No. 316A14 (N.C. … 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
A non-competition covenant prohibited employees of Adhesives Research (AR), a company based in Pennsylvania, from performing services for a competitor of AR anywhere in the world for two years after termination. Newsom, AR’s western U.S. manager of medical products, worked out of her home in California. When she quit and joined another adhesives manufacturer, AR sued and moved for entry … Continue Reading
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
For many in Alabama, the holiday season does not end until after the college football national championship game, which has featured one of the state’s two top college football programs (the Auburn University Tigers and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide) for each of the five past years. While not quite as exciting as … Continue Reading
Notwithstanding a forum-selection provision in the parties’ consulting agreement designating the Northern District of Georgia as the place for litigating non-competition and non-solicitation covenants disputes, a Georgia federal judge transferred covenant violation litigation to the Middle District of Florida. Also, the judge explained why he thought that an arbitration clause was unenforceable, but he said that the Florida court should … Continue Reading
In Part I of this post, we reviewed the Court’s ruling on Nosal’s conviction on the CFAA counts. Here in Part II, we turn to the Court’s ruling on the EEA counts, and the exclusion of evidence regarding Nosal’s non-compete provision.
B. Nosal’s Conviction on the EEA Counts:
Nosal was convicted of two counts under the EEA for downloading, copying … Continue Reading
Under the majority approach, recognized in many states continued employment is sufficient consideration for a valid non-compete agreement. However, a minority of jurisdictions, will not enforce a non-compete agreement offered for signature after … Continue Reading
While most NBA fans have been focused on the recently-concluded championship series between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, those of us in Boston have been keeping a close eye a different NBA story (to the extent we’re not focused entirely on the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run): What will become the fate of beloved coach Doc Rivers, who … Continue Reading
On February 11, 2013, Democratic-Farmer-Labor party members Joe Atkins and Alice Hausman introduced H.F. No. 506. The bill was read and referred to the Committee on Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries, a committee chaired by Rep. Sheldon Johnson (DFL-St. Paul). The … 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
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
On January 9th, the Maryland Senate introduced a bill which if passed would invalidate employee “noncompetition covenants” for former workers who applied for and obtained unemployment benefits. Senate Bill 51 is sponsored by Senator Ronald N. Young, Democrat, who just began his third year in the Maryland Senate. If enacted, the bill will take effect on October 1, 2013, and … Continue Reading
While treats are in abundance on Halloween, a Minnesota employer recently received a trick when a federal court denied its temporary restraining order application. A Minnesota federal court held that an ex-employer’s apprehension that a former employee violated or would violate a non-compete and confidentiality agreement was entirely speculative and, thus, did not warrant a TRO. Sempris, LLC v. Watson, … Continue Reading
A private medical transport service was recently unsuccessful in persuading the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands to enter a preliminary injunction prohibiting two ex-employees from competing with and soliciting customers of their former employer. The judge cited Section 188 of the Restatement of Contracts (Second) as authority for denying injunctive relief where the potential harm to the … Continue Reading
In a recent ruling, a West Virginia federal judge held that litigation involving a former employee’s claimed violation of covenants not to compete and not to solicit the ex-employer’s workers must proceed to trial even though the ex-employer produced no evidence of monetary loss. Relying on 76-year old and 118-year old West Virginia cases neither of which concern similar … Continue Reading
If you’re an employer in an industry where non-compete agreements are common, perhaps you’ve been faced with the following scenario: You offer a sales position to a candidate who tells you she doesn’t think she has a non-compete with her employer, which is a competitor of yours. Once she’s onboard at your company, she begins soliciting her former employer’s clients. … Continue Reading
In a recent order, a federal court in the Northern District of California weighed in on the validity a forum selection clause contained in an employment agreement in connection with a California employee’s declaratory relief action to invalidate his non-compete provision with his former employer. The court found for the Pennsylvania-based employer and … Continue Reading
Early last week, we wrote a post on a unique circumstance in which a non-compete agreement was ruled unenforceable by the California Court of Appeal despite the fact that it was executed pursuant to the sale of a business. (Fillpoint, LLC v. Maas (August 24, 2012)). Following up on that post, I had the chance to speak with Colin O’Keefe … Continue Reading
In a recent opinion, Creech, Inc. v. Brown, the Kentucky Court of Appeals both affirmed the ability of Kentucky courts to modify overly broad non-competition agreements in the employment context and laid out a six-part framework that trial courts may follow when analyzing the reasonableness and enforceability of non-competition agreements.
The court also … Continue Reading
Please join us for our sixth trade secrets webinar of the year entitled Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update.
The webinar will be September 20, 2012 from noon to 1:00 p.m. central.
The past year has seen significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions. As trade secrets … Continue Reading
Non-competition agreements executed in connection with the sale of a business are typically enforceable as a limited exception under Business and Professions Code section 16601 and applicable case authority to California’s general prohibition against non-competition agreements. A recent California Court of Appeal decision, however, further narrows this limited exception.
Travelhost, Inc., produces magazines and other publications designed to help travelers. Over the course of the last several years, a number of employees, each of whom had signed a non-compete agreement, left the company and began working for its competitors.
Travelhost sued several of the ex-employees in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas for alleged violations … Continue Reading