Labor & Employment General Business Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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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

Who Owns What When a Copyrighted Work is Created in the Workplace

Something employers, employees and contractors don’t often consider is the ownership and attribution of copyrighted property created for an employer on behalf of an employee. Copyright has value, so the ownership of it might...more

The spy who came in from the kitchen…

Offering workers the opportunity to work from home has many benefits for both the employee and employer, but it can bring challenges as well. One challenge is handling trade secrets, which are defined as any information that...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 30, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Restrictive Covenants: restrictive covenant providing that an ostentatious site feature, which “may be offensive to adjacent neighbors is unacceptable” was improperly interpreted by architectural...more

Blog: The ABCs of PIIAAs: Protecting Employee-Generated IP

Companies seeking to avoid employment disputes and to secure intellectual property rights to their employees’ inventions should make sure that all employees have signed confidentiality and inventions assignment agreements. ...more

Contractors vs. Employees: The Benefits and Risks of Hiring Outsourced Workers

Alternatives to direct employment are flourishing, as businesses have come to believe they should keep in house only “core” functions and outsource other activities like IT and HR to specialized service providers. This...more

Missouri Court Refuses to Enforce Non-Compete in Staffing Agency Fight Between Kforce and Beacon Hill

A recent case out of the Eastern District of Missouri provides a perfect example of what judges should do when evaluating non-compete agreements: That is to say that judges should conduct a thoughtful analysis that accounts...more

New Year’s Resolutions for Companies Seeking to Protect Their Trade Secrets in 2015

The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity to set lofty goals of self-improvement. While the odds of completing a New Year’s resolution aren’t exactly inspiring (over half are expected to fail within six months) studies...more

Fast Food Non-Compete Agreements?

Fast food is very secretive. Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken has eleven secret herbs and spices. Bakers have attempted to reverse engineer Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but it remains a closely held...more

Show Me the License: Is Your Company Ready?

Good record-keeping is a burden. But doing so is important. Here is an example of why it is important to keep good records of all software licenses....more

To Sue or Not to Sue: That Is the Trade Secret Question

You have just learned that a senior member of the company research and development team has resigned. The employee had access to important confidential information about your company’s product development, manufacturing...more

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