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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.

Overview

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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August 27, 2018

Non-Compete Covenants Must be Reasonable for Preliminary Injunction, Nevada Supreme Court Affirms

August 27, 2018

A non-compete agreement in Nevada “must be limited to the geographical areas in which an employer has particular business interests,” the Nevada Supreme Court has affirmed. Shores v. Global Experience Specialists, Inc., 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 61 (Aug. 2, 2018). The Court also concluded that when an employer seeks to enforce a non-compete... Read More

August 1, 2018

Massachusetts Legislature (Finally) Passes Non-Compete Law

August 1, 2018

The Massachusetts Legislature, at long last, has passed a bill regulating the use and enforcement of non-compete agreements in the private sector. Once “An Act relative to the judicial enforcement of noncompetition agreements” is signed by Governor Charlie Baker, it will take effect on October 1, 2018. The Legislature has attempted... Read More

April 20, 2018

Brazilian Labor Courts Continue to Emphasize Importance of Non-Compete Clause Limitations

April 20, 2018

A recent Brazilian labor court ruling clarified the procedural requirements for employers drafting non-compete clauses in employment agreements. Although the Brazilian Federal Constitution establishes “freedom of work,” and the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (Law 9.279/1996) prevents an employee from disclosing an employer’s... Read More

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August 14, 2018
Systems Contractor News

Erik Winton comments on Hiring Employees With Trade Secrets And Non-Competition Agreements

August 14, 2018

Erik Winton comments on the implications of hiring employees from competitors who have signed non-compete agreements and non-disclosure agreements in "They're Mine Now, The Ins and Outs of Hiring Away From Competitors," published by Systems Contractor News. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

August 3, 2018
BostInno

Erik Winton Comments on Massachusetts Legislature Passing Non-Compete Reform Bill

August 3, 2018

Erik Winton comments on Massachusetts Legislature passing a bill regulating the use and enforcement of non-compete agreements in "Is the Mass. Non-Compete Reform A Compromise?" published by BostInno. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

August 2, 2018
The Washington Post

Erik Winton Comments on Massachusetts Bill Regulating Non-Compete Agreements

August 2, 2018

Erik Winton comments on Massachusetts legislature passing an economic development bill regulating non-compete agreements in "Massachusetts bill would require employers to pay up when enforcing noncompetes -- but there’s a loophole," published by The Washington Post. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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State Attorneys General Step Up Antitrust Probes of Franchise Industry Hiring Practices
August 22, 2018

In the midst of a federal effort to ramp up antitrust prosecutions of companies agreeing not to recruit or hire each other’s employees (see previous articles dated November 9, 2016, January 25, 2018, April 25, 2018 and July 17, 2018), special scrutiny – and criticism – has been directed toward the use of no-poach agreements...… Read More

California Non-Compete Law Renders Surgeon Settlement Agreement Unenforceable
August 20, 2018

Answering a question left from a previous appeal in the same case, a divided panel of the U.S. Read More

Massachusetts Governor Signs Non-Compete Bill Into Law
August 10, 2018

Just before midnight on July 31, 2018, the last day of its legislative session, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a significant bill regulating the use of non-compete agreements in the Commonwealth.  Today, August 10, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed that bill into law. Read More