General Business Labor & Employment Intellectual Property

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News & Analysis as of

Is It Time to Switch Gears? Enforceability of Automotive Company Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Given the large workforces and importance of intellectual property and trade secrets in the automotive industry, automotive companies rely heavily on confidentiality provisions in employment agreements and employee handbooks....more

North Carolina Business Court Holds Pleading Stage Too Early to Dismiss Broad Non-compete

On May 7, 2015, Judge Gregory McGuire of the North Carolina Business Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss a claim that a physician’s assistant breached non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in her employment...more

VC’s running scared – Hooli is suing Pied Piper (Episodes 9 and 10)

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” has quickly become a must watch for all budding entrepreneurs, but the second season has opened up with a multitude of risks and roadblocks that could be faced by real world entrepreneurs. Here, we...more

Two Claims You May Not Want To Make In North Carolina

I said yesterday that there was too much in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2015 NCBC 47 for just one post, so here are the rest of the key points from the case. They involve two claims you might not want to bother to make in...more

Tom Brady, Deflategate, and Florida Non-Competes

Free trade, in theory, increases competition. Competition forces innovation, higher productivity, better quality, lower prices or some combination of these elements to allow the marketplace to provide suitable options for...more

Stop. Wait a Minute. I Have a Few Questions Before You Drive Away

With the continued success of the auto industry, comes the increase in employee mobility. Regardless of how great you are as an employer, not all of your employees will stick around forever, especially your most valuable...more

Things to Think About Before You Leave to Work for a Competitor

An employee who leaves a company to work for a competitor can run into a hornet’s nest of legal problems.  The latest example of this classic fact pattern involves William Georgelis, a sales manager for building material...more

Employer Can Proceed With Breach Of Noncompete And Trade Secrets Claims Against Former Employee Who Refused To Relinquish Control...

Recently, an Illinois federal district court denied in part an employee’s motion to dismiss various claims asserted by his former employer, allowing the employer to proceed with its claims for breach of a non-compete...more

Court, Applying Pennsylvania And California Law, Declines To Enjoin Alleged Violation Of Worldwide Non-Compete

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...more

Another Frivolous Trade Secret Case: Court Finds Bad Faith in Cypress v. Maxim

Cypress Semiconductor Corporation and Maxim Integrated Products are two big Silicon Valley tech companies, both with an interest in touchscreen technologies. In February 2011, Maxim engaged a recruiter named Zion Mushel to...more

An Interesting Trade Secrets Case From The Business Court

If you were unsure whether customer information held by your client -- like customer contact information, sales reports, prices and terms books, sales memos, sales training manuals, commission reports, and vendor information...more

Keeping It Classified: Here’s How To Stay Safe In A Technology-Driven World.

Protecting a company’s confidential information is becoming more difficult as technology continues to advance. Plus, an increasingly mobile workforce poses increased risk that employees will breach a company’s security...more

Hiring From a Competitor? Play Defense to Limit Trade Secret Risk

When discussing trade secrets and strategies to protect valuable proprietary information, most companies focus on their outbound risk. In other words, companies pay close attention to protecting their own valuable trade...more

Don't Let the Door Hit You … Oh, and I Have a Few Questions Before You Go

Regardless of how great you are as an employer, not all of your employees will stick around forever, especially your most valuable employees. If the employee is valuable to you, you can be sure he or she would be just as...more

Can You Keep a Secret? The SEC Says to Ask Carefully

Employers have a lot to be worried about. Employees are given access to trade secrets, customer lists, financial accounts, and other highly sensitive, confidential information. Most employers attempt to deter improper use of...more

New Arkansas Law Boldly Embraces Noncompetition Provisions

On April 2, 2015, Arkansas enacted a new law (the Act) that greatly expands the enforceability of noncompete agreements in the state. The Act makes striking changes to Arkansas non-compete law. ...more

Protecting Trade Secrets Insufficient to Enforce Covenant Not to Compete in Any Capacity Worldwide - NanoMech, Inc. v. Suresh

Addressing the enforceability of a non-compete agreement to protect trade secrets, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a ruling finding that a non-compete agreement which prevented the employee from...more

Former Customers as a Legitimate Business Interest?

When do former customers constitute a legitimate business interest? In a sale of business context, the short answer is, “Pretty much all of the time.” The purchaser of assets and goodwill of a business can, by...more

15 Things To Do To Protect Value After April 15

April 15, a date that lives in infamy. That is what FDR said about December 7, 1941, but many people feel the same way about April 15, also known as “Tax Day”. No one likes paying money to the IRS, even those persons who...more

Navigating Non-Competes When a Worldwide Presence Is the New Norm

Businesses that compete globally are once again reminded of the need to avoid overreaching when requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a...more

Social Media in the Context of Post-Employment Litigation

At the frontier of post-employment litigation is the issue of how to address social media contacts and communications. To date, while courts in other jurisdictions, such as California and Colorado, have passed on such...more

Employee Handbooks Should Be Reviewed in Light of NLRB Report

Your employee handbook may be unlawful. That’s the takeaway from a 30-page report issued by the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel on March 18, 2015....more

Illinois Restrictive Covenants: The “Gray” Bright Line Regarding Sufficient Consideration

Illinois non-compete law continues to wend a circuitous path through the employment landscape, making it occasionally difficult for employers and employees alike to predict outcomes in these cases....more

Must a Company Reveal Trade Secrets to Prove Trade Secret Theft

When you learn a former employee has stolen your trade secrets to take them across the street to benefit a competitor, your quickest remedy is to sue him and try to shut him down through an injunction. Oftentimes, the new...more

Craft Brewery Intellectual Property Primer

A. Introduction - A name. It all starts with a name. A series of words, individually with little meaning, but collectively, the embodiment of creativity, passion, and inspiration. Whether the name of the craft brewery...more

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