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Non-Competes and Protection Against Unfair Competition

Business information and good will often are a company’s most significant assets, but—unlike equipment and physical assets—employees and others can easily move this information and take client relationships with them to competitors.


We offer employers a multi-disciplinary approach to help confront all forms of unfair competition, both through appropriate agreements and policies and in courts across the United States and beyond. No matter what the client’s particular situation, we bring to bear a wealth of knowledge, experience and practical solutions that make business sense.

By advising clients with respect to preventive strategies that protect their interests in confidential information and customer good will, we help clients minimize the risk of unfair competition and maximize their ability to defend against the unlawful appropriation of invaluable assets. When preventive efforts fail, we aggressively litigate claims in forums ranging from state, federal and bankruptcy courts, to securities industry and American Arbitration Association tribunals.

Trade Secret Protection Programs

The key to preventing unfair competition is an effective Trade Secret Protection Program that guards against the loss of confidential information, deters employees from unfairly competing, and enhances the employer's ability to prevail in litigation. At Jackson Lewis, we have decades of experience advising clients in all aspects of an effective Trade Secret Protection Program, including the following:

  • Drafting non-competition agreements, non-disclosure agreements, assignment of invention agreements and similar documents;
  • Preparing executive and individual employment agreements;
  • Consulting on electronic information retention and security policies; and
  • Training employees on policies regarding confidential information, non-competes and other protective measures.

Litigating Unfair Competition Claims

Members of our Non-Competes and Protection Against Unfair Competition Practice Group have prosecuted and defended all types of unfair competition claims in courts across the United States. With offices in major locations throughout the country, we can file or respond to injunction matters on minimal notice in state and federal courts with teams of experienced attorneys knowledgeable about local rules. In addition to injunction proceedings, we represent employers in other workplace unfair competition claims, including theft of trade secrets, employee raiding, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state unfair competition laws. Many of our cases have been at the forefront of emerging legal trends ranging from the inevitable disclosure doctrine to the enforcement of non-competition agreements with a worldwide scope. We also have extensive experience handling the complex computer forensics and e-discovery issues that arise in unfair competition litigation.

The Team

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December 12, 2016

Fast-Food Restaurant CEO Tapped to Head Labor Department: What to Expect

December 12, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to nominate Andrew Puzder, Chief Executive Officer of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, to head the U.S. Department of Labor. Puzder was a lawyer in St. Louis and represented the founder of Carl’s Jr. He later became the general... Read More

November 10, 2016

Workplace Law Under President-Elect Donald Trump: What to Expect

November 10, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump will assume office on January 20, 2017, with a Republican majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. While it is difficult to predict whether the new administration will be able to deliver on President-elect Trump’s campaign promises, we can expect significant policy and enforcement... Read More

November 9, 2016

New DOJ, FTC Antitrust Compliance Guidance for Human Resources Attacks No-Poaching Agreements

November 9, 2016

Criticizing non-solicitation of employees — or “no-poaching” — agreements as an alleged factor in holding back wage growth, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have issued antitrust guidance on human resources issues. This is consistent with and continues the White House’s recent... Read More

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September 9, 2016

Clifford Atlas Comments on Recent Scrutiny of Non-Competition Agreements

September 9, 2016

Clifford Atlas comments on recent scrutiny of Non-Competition Agreements in "Overreaching Noncompetes Criticized in New York and Illinois," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

August 19, 2016
Allegheny County Bar Association

Patty Diulus-Myers authored “Trade secret protection – the old and the new approaches”

August 19, 2016

Patty Diulus-Myers authored “Trade secret protection – the old and the new approaches,” published by Lawyers Journal (found on page 9).  Read More

July 7, 2016
Thomson Reuters

Erik Winton Comments on Enforceability in Employment Contract Noncompetes

July 7, 2016

Erik Winton comments on the assignment and enforceability in noncompete agreements in employment contracts in "Noncompetes can be assigned without consent under Missouri law - 8th Circuit," published by Thomson Reuters. Subscription may be required to view article   Read More

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Nebraska Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause
May 30, 2017

Nebraska’s legal history on the enforceability of non-compete agreements is usually a surprise for employers who view Nebraska as pro-business.  Nebraska courts routinely invalidate employee non-compete agreements that venture beyond restricting the employee from doing business with and soliciting customers with whom that employee did Read More

State and Federal Trade Secrets Claims Upheld By Northern District of Illinois
May 24, 2017

A May 11, 2017 decision by Judge Chang, in the Northern District of Illinois, found misappropriation alleged under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (ITSA), in a case where the employee downloaded files while still employed. Read More

Texas Pre-Suit Discovery – Obligations Under Unusual Procedure Clarified
April 25, 2017

Although most employers are very familiar with the usual discovery process of litigation, they may not be as familiar with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure’s Rule 202, which concerns pre-suit depositions. Read More

By A. Robert Fischer and Daniel Cordova