So far, 2013 has been active for proposed non-compete legislation.
At the beginning of any calendar year, it's not surprising to see a number of bills introduced in state assemblies or legislatures - many of which have...more
By now, I hope readers of this blog would be aware that the title of this post simply reinforces the obvious....more
The "inevitable disclosure" doctrine is one of the most discussed, controversial topics in unfair competition law. The commentary among academics and bloggers reminds me of the ongoing debate over the proper scope of the...more
This is the first in a multi-part installment on the impact of trade secrets law on hydraulic fracturing.
If you've read the newspaper over the past year or so, fracking suddenly has become a household...more
I received a number of e-mails on my three-part series on settlements, which ran over the past few weeks.
Of those e-mails, several dealt with a topic I raised in Part 3 - accounting for the possibility of a settling...more
One of the most common drafting errors in non-solicitation covenants - clauses that limit customers to whom competitive services may be offered - is the reach to whom it applies. In concept, the idea of a customer...more
In January, I discussed Maryland's proposed Senate Bill 51, which (if passed) would ban certain non-compete agreements if an employee was deemed eligible to receive unemployment benefits....more
This is largely a plaintiff-centric column, offering some practical points to consider when assessing the risk of bankruptcy in connection with non-compete (or other competition) litigation. Though many non-compete suits...more
On Monday, I offered several reasons why non-compete cases don't settle. Today I flip this concept around.
It is true most non-compete cases do settle, a reflection that business cases get resolved for pure economic...more
Every judge, lawyer, and litigant is probably familiar with the maxim that most civil cases settle. That's undoubtedly true. But some classes of suits are better positioned to settle than others. In non-compete and other...more
Readers of this blog know that I am an advocate of using liquidated damages clauses in non-compete agreements. Though not for every situation, they can help avoid the knotty problem of proving lost profits damages through...more
After last year's important Ninth Circuit decision from U.S. v. Nosal, I discussed my take on the ongoing debate within our federal courts over how to interpret the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act - and in particular, whether...more
Non-compete disputes often follow a similar pattern. And part of that pattern involves the dreaded "cease-and-desist" letter.
These letters are precursors to litigation, and they can be either effective or damaging,...more
One of 2012's most important competition law cases involved the Ninth Circuit's decision in United States v. Nosal, which narrowly construed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Nosal determined that an employee did not violate...more
As readers of this blog may know, a few years ago I drafted Illinois' proposed Covenants Not to Compete Act.
Several legislators had determined, at that time, that a bill was necessary to regulate the use and...more
About a month ago, a proposed bill was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives that would dramatically impact non-compete law in that state.
One of the more difficult aspects of trade secrets law is determining how long to enjoin competitive conduct that infringes trade secret rights of the owner....more
What do Michigan and New Hampshire have in common, besides being two more states Mitt Romney couldn't carry?
They have proposed or enacted legislation that restricts the use of so-called "afterthought" non-competes. This...more
With the Supreme Court last year strengthening the case for the arbitratrion of non-compete disputes, count me in as one who is fairly confident we're going to see businesses utilizing such clauses more in employment and...more
Most non-compete (and some trade secrets) cases are effectively decided at the preliminary injunction stages. For counsel, this means that a significant part of the lawsuit must be tried quickly and with great efficiency....more
The long-running dispute between Mattel and MGA Entertainment is one of the most notable, costly competition cases of the last decade. As most readers probably know, Mattel makes the popular Barbie line of dolls and sued its...more
The new year is off to a pretty big start. We've already seen significant decisions from federal appellate courts on criminal trade secrets prosecutions and the epic Mattel/MGA "Bratz" dolls dispute. We have a looming debate...more
In December of 2011, Clark Roberts and Sean Howley, two engineers at Wyko Tire Technology, were convicted by a jury for stealing trade secrets, a crime under the federal Economic Espionage Act (EEA). The trade secrets related...more
I've written in the past why the "selective enforcement" defense rarely - if ever - seems to work in non-compete litigation. For those who don't recall, the defense is based on the idea that if a company does not enforce a...more
IBM has launched an assault against Virginia-based competitor, Computer Sciences Corporation, charging it with instituting a raid on its Finance Department through a departed IBM executive, Christopher Greiner.