intellectual property owners association conferenceOn September 18-20, Seyfarth partners Dawn Mertineit, Eric Barton, and Robert Milligan will be attending the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. This event offers over two dozen education sessions, networking opportunities, committee meetings, and more.

During the event, Dawn will be speaking on a panel called “Hold on to Your Trade Secrets: The Winds of Change
Continue Reading Seyfarth Attorneys to Attend and Speak at IPO Annual Meeting

SEC whistleblower Everyone generally agrees that people and organizations should be able to protect their proprietary and valuable information. But one area where we’ve seen legislative fretting is when that principle potentially impedes reporting wrongdoing to the government. As we have previously blogged, Congress and many state legislatures are exploring (or, in some cases, already enacted) legislative protections for reporting suspected misconduct to the government. And, at the federal level, Congress enacted the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which provides immunity for the disclosure of a trade secret if made in confidence to an attorney or government official for the purpose of investigating a suspected violation of law.
Continue Reading Recent SEC Order Reiterates Need for Affirmative Whistleblower Exclusion

It’s a fact pattern that repeatedly arises in trade secret cases: a company hires someone who has a confidentiality agreement with their former employer. Just before (or shortly after) being hired, the individual emails confidential information from their former employer to individuals at their new job. The former employer files suit against the individual, but also asserts a claim for tortious interference with contractual relations against the new employer.
Continue Reading Merely Receiving Confidential Information Isn’t Enough: Georgia Court Dismisses Tortious Interference with Contract Claim in Trade Secret Case

Colorado Poised to Dramatically Limit the Enforceability of Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants for Low-Wage Workers

Earlier this week, the Colorado state legislature voted to pass HB22-1317, which if signed into law by Democratic Governor Jared Polis, would place Colorado among several other states with the strictest bans on restrictive covenant agreements for low-wage workers. A spokesperson for Governor Polis has already indicated that the governor plans to sign the bill. If executed, the bill would become effective 90 days after the legislature adjourns (early August 2022), so immediate and very substantial changes appear to be right around the Rocky Mountain road.
Continue Reading Danger: Rocky Road Ahead!

It is well established that the Georgia Trade Secret Act (“GTSA”) includes a preemption clause holding that the Act “supersede[s] conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other laws of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret.” O.C.G.A. § 10-1-767(a). The GTSA does not, however, preempt (1) “[c]ontractual duties or remedies, whether or not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret”; (2) “[o]ther civil remedies that are not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret”; or (3) “[t]he definition of a trade secret contained in [another Georgia statute].” O.C.G.A. § 10-1-767(b). In other words, the GTSA preempts any non-contractual claims that allege the misappropriation of a trade secret. See Bd. of Regents of the Univ. Sys. Of Georgia v. One Sixty Over Ninety, LLC, 830 S.E.2d 503, 510 n.13 (Ga. Ct. App. 2019) (“[T]he Trade Secrets Act superseded the common law tort of misappropriation [of trade secrets].”)
Continue Reading Recent Federal Court Ruling Refuses to Expand the Scope of Georgia Trade Secret Act’s Preemption Clause

In the final webinar for 2021, Seyfarth attorneys Dawn Mertineit, Eric Barton, and Joshua Salinas discussed new legislation and the enforcement of non-competes. Any company that seeks to use non-compete and non-solicitation agreements to protect its trade secrets, confidential information, client relationships, goodwill, or work forces needs to stay informed of the varied and ever-evolving standards in each state.

As
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! Overview of Non-Compete Legislation and Enforcement Issues from 2021

Thursday, December 16, 2021
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific

REGISTER HERE

In this installment of our 2021 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, our team will focus on new legislation and the enforcement of non-competes. Any company that seeks to use non-compete and
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Overview of Non-Compete Legislation and Enforcement Issues from 2021

Suffice it to say, it’s never a good idea to deliberately violate a trial court’s order, much less do so repeatedly. That, however, is precisely what Khosrow Daneshgari did in Patriot Towing Services, LLC v. Daneshgari, et al. Notwithstanding Daneshgari’s willful contempt, the Georgia Court of Appeals recently ruled that the trial court nevertheless overstepped its authority by extending the expiration date of the parties’ non-compete agreement. See Daneshgari, et al. v. Patriot Towing Services, LLC, Georgia Court of Appeals, Case No. A21A0887, Oct. 21, 2021.
Continue Reading Georgia Court of Appeals Reiterates that Trial Courts Cannot Rely on Equity to Extend a Non-Compete’s Expiration Date

On Friday, July 9, 2021, the Biden Administration released its executive order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy.” We previously wrote about the forthcoming order and predicted that the executive order’s treatment of non-compete provisions would be a general call to rulemaking versus a more authoritative or immediate directive to the FTC.
Continue Reading President Biden Issues Executive Order Encouraging the FTC to Consider Curtailing the Use of “Unfair” Non-Competes, but Without Providing any Additional Guidance or Details

The Biden Administration plans to issue an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to adopt rules to limit the use of noncompete clauses in employment agreements. According to Axios, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that “roughly half of private sector businesses require at least some employees to enter noncompete agreements, affecting over 30 million people. This affects construction workers, hotel workers, many blue-collar jobs, not just high-level executives. [President Biden] believes that if someone offers you a better job, you should be able to take it. It makes sense.” Indeed, in 2016, then Vice President Biden went on the record that “no one should have to sit on the sidelines because of an unnecessary non-compete agreement.” While the intervening years have not seen any federal action on non-competes, a number of states have enacted legislative changes to narrow the scope and availability of noncompete agreements.
Continue Reading Biden to Ban Non-Competes?