There are limited exceptions to California’s general prohibition of post-termination non-competition agreements. One such exception is the sale of business exception found in California Business & Professions Code § 16601. This exception allows a buyer to enforce non-compete agreements against a seller if the seller is an “owner of a business entity selling or otherwise disposing of all of his or her ownership interests in the business entity.”

In Blue Mountain Enterprises, LLC v. Owen, 74 Cal. App. 5th 537 (2022), the Court of Appeal found that section 16601 applied to a three year post-termination non-solicitation of customer provision in an employment agreement and upheld the trial court’s decision to enforce the provision against the executive/seller who entered into a joint venture. The court found that section 16601 applied as a matter of law because the defendant “dispos[ed] of all of his … ownership interest” in one transaction agreement while concurrently agreeing under an employment agreement and that both contracts, along with other contracts the parties executed, were drafted to accomplish the parties’ joint venture.  Id. at 553. The court also found that the trial court correctly found that the defendant’s letter for his new business constituted a solicitation as a matter of law because the letter went well beyond an announcement by actively encouraging customers to leave and do business with his new company. Id. at 556.
Continue Reading California Court of Appeal Enforces Non-Solicitation of Customers Provision in Joint Venture Transaction Involving Key Employee

The 2022 edition of The Legal 500 United States recommends Seyfarth Shaw’s Trade Secrets group as one of the best in the country. Nationally, for the seventh consecutive year, our Trade Secrets practice earned Top Tier.

Based on feedback from corporate counsel, Seyfarth partners Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Kate Perrelli are ranked in the editorial’s “Leading Lawyers,” Joshua Salinas
Continue Reading Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets Group Earns Top Tier Ranking from Legal 500 for Seventh Consecutive Year

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes group, and associate Alex Meier recently attended the Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets (Working Group 12) in Denver, Colorado. Working Group 12 seeks to aid judges and practitioners in developing consensus-based guidelines for managing trade secret litigation and protecting trade secrets.
Continue Reading Recap! The Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets (Working Group 12) in Denver

Members of Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets team recently worked on Trade Secret Litigation and Protection: A Practical Guide to the DTSA and CUTSA, a new 26-chapter treatise that explains the fundamentals and intricacies of trade secret law under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the California Uniform Trade Secret Act (CUTSA).

Robert Milligan—Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the
Continue Reading Seyfarth Trade Secrets Team Assists with Editing and Authoring New Trade Secrets Treatise

On Wednesday, June 29, Robert Milligan—Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes group—is presenting the “Noncompetes Under New State Law Restrictions” webinar for Strafford.

The panel will discuss the latest state legislative changes and case law trends regarding non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants in New York, California, Illinois, Washington, and other states and
Continue Reading Robert Milligan to Present Webinar on Non-Compete State Legislation for Strafford

The Sedona Conference’s working group on trade secrets has published the WG12 Commentary on Protecting Trade Secrets throughout the Employment Life Cycle. This publication focuses on the inherent potential tensions in the employer-employee relationship, when it comes to trade secret: Trade secrets cannot exist without the work of employees, cannot be protected without the efforts of employees, and would
Continue Reading The Sedona Conference Publishes “Commentary on Protecting Trade Secrets throughout the Employment Life Cycle”

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes group, will moderate the “Leveraging Internal Assets in the Governance and Management of Trade Secrets” panel for The 2022 Sedona Conference. Seyfarth is also sponsoring the Sedona Conference, which is taking place May 9–10 at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, Colorado.

Other
Continue Reading Seyfarth to Sponsor and Robert Milligan to Moderate a Panel for The 2022 Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets

In the first program in the 2022 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and James Yu reviewed noteworthy legislation, cases, and other legal developments from across the nation over the last year in the area of trade secrets and data theft, non-competes and other restrictive covenants, and computer fraud. Plus, they provided predictions for what to
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! 2021 Trade Secrets & Non-Competes Year in Review

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes practice, is presenting the “It’s 10:00 pm. Do You Know Where Your Company’s Crown Jewels Are? Does Someone Else? Trade Secrets as an Information Asset” session at the MER Conference on May 11 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The panel, which includes members of
Continue Reading Robert Milligan to Speak on Effectively Protecting Trade Secrets at MER Conference 2022