A Robert Samuelson piece in the Washington Post on the mismatch between the skills of job seekers and the requirements for open positions may seem like an unlikely place to find an angle on non-compete restrictions. However, in his column on the unemployment rate, Samuelson makes an argument that touches on the role that non-competes can play for employers and employees. In explaining

Continue Reading The Unemployment Rate, Mismatched Skills, and … Non-competes?

As we have posted previously, there is some question regarding the effective date of Georgia’s Restrictive Covenant Act, O.C.G.A. § 13-8-50 et seq., the statute passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2009 and authorized by passage of an enabling constitutional amendment in November 2010. The RCA changes Georgia’s legal regime regarding restrictive covenants.  Because of the uncertainty regarding

Continue Reading Georgia House of Representatives Passes “Fix” to Restrictive Covenant Act

The Georgia Court of Appeals issued two decisions in July addressing restrictive covenants in Georgia. In both instances, the Court of Appeals upheld trial court findings that the covenants were unenforceable under existing Georgia law.

In Peachtree Fayette Women’s Specialists, LLC, v. Turner, the Court of Appeals agreed with Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson of the Griffin Judicial Circuit that

Continue Reading Update on Georgia Restrictive Covenant Cases

When explaining to lay people what we do, trade secret practitioners often use the classic examples of the formula for Coca-Cola or KFC’s secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices. Now, we can add as an illustration the nooks and crannies of Thomas’ English Muffins, as demonstrated by a case filed by Bimbo Bakeries (“BBakeries”) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. BBakeries

Continue Reading Inevitable Disclosure of Nooks and Crannies

Although most non-compete and trade secret disputes arise from the employer-employee relationship, these issues can arise in any number of contexts. One situation is in business-to-business negotiations. OnBrand Media v. Codex Consulting, Inc., a November 19, 2009 decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals, involves a dispute between entities involved in joint venture negotiations relating to developing and marketing

Continue Reading Non-competes and Trade Secrets in the Business Negotiation Context

Because the laws of various states regarding non-compete clauses differ significantly, cases involving these provisions often entail fights at the outset as to the proper venue. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently faced just such an issue in CertainTeed Corp. v. Nichiha USA, Inc., Civil Case No. 09-CV-3932-LS, 2009 WL 3540796 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 29, 2009). In that matter, CertainTeed contested

Continue Reading A Classic Fight Over Venue

In Coleman v. Retina Consultants, P.C., the Georgia Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s decision to enjoin a former employee based on his non-compete provision, but it upheld the injunction to the extent that it prevented the employee from using his former employer’s trade secrets. The case is especially interesting from a factual perspective, as it covers the increasingly common

Continue Reading Trade Secret Claim Wins Out to Protect Software.

When we last wrote about IBM’s efforts to enjoin David Johnson, its former Vice President of Corporate Development, from joining Dell, Judge Stephen Robinson of the Southern District of New York had denied IBM’s second motion for preliminary injunction and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was preparing to hold oral argument on the matter. The Court of Appeals

Continue Reading IBM v. Johnson: the Second Circuit Weighs In

In Pittman v. Coosa Med. Group PC, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s decision to grant an interlocutory injunction enforcing a non-compete provision that prevented Dr. H. Harris Pittman from practicing neurosurgery within a 30-mile radius of CMG’s principal office in Rome, Georgia. 

The non-compete provision is contained in an employment contract that Pittman signed with

Continue Reading Georgia Court of Appeals Upholds Non-compete Provision Against Neurosurgeon

Zynga Game Network, Inc., which describes itself as “the number one social gaming company with 30 million daily active users,” obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order against its competitor Playdom, Inc. and two former Zynga employees. Z ynga both filed the case in the Superior Court of the State of California, Santa Clara County, and obtained the temporary restraining order

Continue Reading The Game Got Rough: Online Gaming Giant Zynga Gets Court to Enjoin Competitor