Intellectual Property Labor & Employment General Business

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How Employment Agreements Can Protect An Employer's Intellectual Property And Defend Against Claims of Misappropriation

At approximately 4.6%, the current national unemployment rate is lower than it has been since before the 2008 recession. Generally speaking, this means that companies are hiring new employees. While hiring new employees is...more

Simple Steps to Help Keep Your Trade Secrets Safe

As illustrated by the recent lawsuit by America’s Test Kitchen against celebrity chef Christopher Kimball, companies in a variety of industries are vulnerable to losing their trade secrets....more

[Webinar] Strategies for Adapting to the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) - Impact on Business and Litigation Strategies - Jan....

Please join us for an informative live webinar that will explore the ramifications of the expanded Federal court jurisdiction under the DTSA, some of the latest cases decided under the DTSA; strategies for filing such cases;...more

Texas Appellate Court Holds Condition Subsequent in Noncompete Agreement Excused Former Employee’s Competitive Activities

A Texas Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment last month in favor of an ex-employee declaring that a noncompete clause in an asset purchase agreement and separate noncompete agreement did not bar him from competing...more

Recent Whistleblower Protection Actions by SEC and Congress Add Risk to Severance Agreements

Two recent SEC enforcement actions that describe how severance agreements may violate whistleblower protections under the federal securities laws if not properly drafted were the subject of a recent article by Perkins Coie...more

Commercial Division Rejects Employers’ Plea For Trade Secret and Trademark Protection

When employees resign, the scope of the trade secret doctrine often defines the relationship between former employers and their employees. Trade secret misappropriation claims frequently overlap with other claims arising out...more

Federal Court in Missouri Holds At-Will Employment Is Not Consideration for Noncompete

The end of the year is an opportune time for employers to make sure their noncompete and arbitration agreements are still valid. A recent Missouri federal court decision underscores how difficult it can be to enforce those...more

Employers Don’t Own Your Brain; They Merely Rent it

New Jersey is apparently about to join the list of states with statutes that protect the rights of inventors. Generally, inventions made by employees belong to the employee, unless (1) that employee was specifically hired to...more

A Holiday Miracle? Massachusetts Legislature Discussing Late-Session Non-Compete Deal

Apparently there may be some life left yet in the Massachusetts Legislature’s attempt to pass non-compete reform this year. As we previously reported, the House and the Senate were unable to bridge their differences and...more

One of Obama Administration’s Final Mandates: Non-Competes Should Be The Exception, Not The Rule

With all the hubbub over the Presidential election, it would not be hard to overlook some of the Obama administration’s final moves. Recently, the White House issued a call to action to state legislators to ban non-compete...more

White House Urges States to Reform Non-Competition Laws

On October 25, 2016, the White House published a State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements urging states to reform their non-competition laws. The call to action follows an earlier report from the White House which...more

White House Issues State Call To Action To Ban Certain Non-Compete Agreements

On October 25, 2016, the Obama Administration issued a “State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements.” This call to action is part of President Obama’s Executive Order directing states to increase competition for workers...more

No Way Around It: SB 1241 Further Restricts Non-Compete Agreements For California Workers

Companies often seek to protect their trade secrets by requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements. California law invalidates such provisions except in very limited circumstances. See Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 16600 et...more

Employment Alert: "Federal Protection of Trade Secrets - the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016"

Earlier this year, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA"), a comprehensive amendment of existing legislation that previously addressed economic espionage and now provides for a private federal civil cause of...more

New Federal Law Protects Trade Secrets

A company’s trade secrets are its lifeblood, but they are valuable only if they remain secret. Faced with a growing rise in theft from foreign hackers, nation states, and rogue employees, trade secret owners now have a new...more

Ten Common Intellectual Property Mistakes

Mistake No. 1 - Not Obtaining an Obligation to Assign Inventions From Employees and Contractor - Example: Employee/contractor agreements do not: (a) assign rights to you in inventions made for you; (b) require the...more

Pa. Superior Court Affirms Punitive Damage Award in Breach of Noncompetition Agreement

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that assesses punitive damages against several individuals and their new employer resulting from their en masse departure from a previous firm and, in the...more

Government Attacks on Non-Compete Agreements Continue

Non-compete agreements have long been used by employers as an effective tool to protect their valuable trade secrets and confidential information. However, employers’ overuse of non-compete agreements and employers’ practice...more

France Instates ‘Right to Disconnect’ into Labor Code

The right to disconnect is within the new legal framework Law of 8 August 2016 relating to Work, Modernization of Social Dialogue, and Securitization of Professional Processes called “Labor Law.” With the rise of many...more

California Employment Law Notes - September 2016

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Employer's Class Action Waiver - Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 2016 WL 4433080 (9th Cir. 2016) - As a condition of employment, Stephen Morris and Kelly McDaniel were required to sign...more

SEC Fines Company for Agreements Restricting Whistleblowers

The SEC has fined an Atlanta company $265,000 for using various severance agreements restricting whistleblower activities. The Dodd-Frank Act added ’34 Act § 21F encouraging whistleblower programs. The SEC adopted Rule...more

Texas Appellate Court Affirms Injunctive Relief and $2.8 Million Award in Attorney’s Fees Against Former Employee in Trade Secret...

A Texas Court of Appeals held on August 22, 2016, that a former employer was entitled to $2.8 million in attorney’s fees against a former employee who used the employer’s information to compete against it. The Court reached...more

Attention, Businesses! Federal Law Provides New Tools for Protecting Your Trade Secrets

Your business’s formula for success may not be akin to a recipe for a secret sauce. But it is likely that you do not want to share with your direct competitors the unique business methods you have developed over time or your...more

RIGHT IN THE BREADBASKET: Lessons From Early Cases at the Intersection of Noncompetes and the DTSA

As many TSW readers are aware, 2016 has been a big year for trade secret law, with both the United States and the European Union expanding trade secrets protections and increasing the uniformity of their laws. But as good as...more

Paying for software development? Make sure you own it!

In a digital society dominated by the saying, “there’s an app for that,” copyright protection is essential. Paying to have a work created does not automatically vest ownership of the copyright in the paying party. When making...more

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