Confidentiality Agreements

News & Analysis as of

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Heading to White House: What You Should Know Now

Congress has finally passed the anticipated Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). The bill, which is now on its way to the White House and is expected to be signed by President Obama, will be effective immediately once it...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act Passes Congress

With President Obama’s signature expected, DTSA will allow for new federal civil suits, ex parte seizures, and whistleblower protections. After unanimously passing the Senate earlier this month, the Defend Trade...more

Get Off My Cloud: “BYOC” Workplaces Pose Trade Secrets Risks

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about “BYOD” (“Bring Your Own Device”) policies, which are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. Employees want the flexibility and ease that comes with being able to use a...more

Quirky Question # 276: Ex-Employees Gone Rogue

Question: Our company utilizes confidentiality agreements to try to protect our confidential and proprietary information. One of our former sales employees recently left us to work for a competing company. We have evidence...more

Covenant Not to Sue Insufficient to Warrant Dismissal of Counterclaims Where Covenant Contained Reservation of Rights

The plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the defendants' patent invalidity counterclaims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 12(b)(1) because the plaintiff withdrew its patent infringement...more

Eighth Circuit Decision Suggests Employers May Have An Alternative Option to Using Non-Compete Agreements

A recent Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision suggests another avenue for employers to secure damages from an employee who competes against them after employment ends – without the use and many limitations of a...more

Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter

SEC Enforcement Trends for 2016 - Welcome to the latest edition of Fenwick and West’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter. In this newsletter, we look at SEC enforcement trends for 2016, starting with a...more

The NLRB takes another cut at non-disclosure agreements.

In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board has increased its scrutiny of various employer practices, including those of non-unionized employers. Among the areas of scrutiny have been non-disclosure of confidential...more

NHTSA Issues Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Private Litigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week issued “Enforcement Guidance Bulletin 2015-01: Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Civil Litigation,” which is...more

Proposed FAR Rule Would Restrict Confidentiality Agreements between Contractors and Their Employees

Recently, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council published a proposed rule that, if implemented, would impose a government-wide prohibition on contracting with companies “that require employees or subcontractors to sign...more

Question #272: Competing in California

Question: One of our company’s employees recently left to start a competing business. We think he started this process while he was still employed by us, and that he is probably using information he learned from us. ...more

Employee Separation Agreements – A Refresher, Part Three

My first two posts on this topic have discussed provisions that must – under federal law, specifically the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act – be included in employee separation agreements if the employee’s release of...more

District Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment on Laches Defense Where Defendant Could Not Establish Prejudice from Plaintiff's...

The court explained the facts as follows: The defendant, CrestaTech, was founded by Mihai Murgulescu and George Haber in 2005. Its initial products included a receiver for satellite radio and a television platform. CrestaTech...more

Ex-Employee Hit With Six-Figure Judgment For Violating His Non-Competition Agreement By Helping His Son Compete

A long-running non-compete clause dispute has reached the Louisiana Court of Appeal three times. Last month, the court affirmed a $600,000 judgment, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, against an ex-employee who assisted his...more

Take Care in Drafting: Meschino v. Frazier Industrial Co. is a Cautionary Tale for Employers

In Meschino v. Frazier Industrial Co., Civil No. 15-10327-RGS, 2015 WL 7295463 (D. Mass. Nov. 18, 2015), Judge Stearns held that an employment agreement superseded an earlier employment agreement and a separate earlier...more

The Whistleblower Augmented Reward and Non-Retaliation Act of 2016

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) recently introduced the Whistleblower Augmented Reward and Non-Retaliation Act of 2016 (“WARN Act”), which aims to bolster whistleblower protections under both...more

Steps Every Startup Should Take to Protect its Intellectual Property

Many startup entrepreneurs are not aware of California’s laws around the ownership of intellectual property. And for most, the concepts for products or services are the life-blood of a company’s operations and future....more

In FLSA Settlements, the Permissible Scope of Releases and Confidentiality Provisions May Be Broader Than You Think

Courts and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) often refuse to approve Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) settlements: (1) in which the employee’s release of claims is not narrowly limited to wage claims; or (2) that seek to...more

Anatomy of a Term Sheet: Series A Financing

A key milestone in the lifecycle of many successful companies (and, admittedly, many unsuccessful companies) is obtaining financing from angel or venture capital investors, but in negotiating with experienced investors...more

5 Tips for Retaining Employees in the Automotive Industry

Attracting and retaining employees in the automotive industry can be very challenging, especially when competitors are doing what they can to lure the best talent. After you provide an employee with a good job, training and...more

Business Litigation Reporter - February 2016

Confidentiality Agreement Must be Expressly Preserved in New Employment Agreement. The decision in Meschino v. Frazier Industrial Co., 2015 WL 7295463, at *1 (D. Mass. Nov. 18, 2015) (Stearns, J.), underscores that an...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - Fourth Quarter 2015

The Demise of Disclosure-Only Settlements? The Court of Chancery Outlines a New Regime. - In a recent opinion, Chancellor Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery reiterated the Court of Chancery’s belief that...more

The Importance of Due Diligence in IP Protection

How well do your business partners protect your intellectual property (IP)? Is IP protection part of your due diligence process when evaluating particular suppliers, distributors, and other companies as business...more

Five Easy Tips for Improving Your Company’s Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreements and Related Practices Now

As January quickly passed by and new projects increase by the day, there is still a golden opportunity to capitalize on some low-hanging fruit to immediately improve your company’s practices and add immediate value to your...more

Five Key Lessons for Business Litigators from National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress

On February 5, 2016, Morrison & Foerster secured a preliminary injunction on behalf of its client, National Abortion Federation (“NAF”), in National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress. The firm’s work on this...more

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