In today's competitive global marketplace, nothing is more important to the success of your business than the ability to protect and retain human resources, intellectual property, trade secrets, workplace technology, and client relationships.
In every industry sector and geographical region, protection of these resources is critical. We help our clients obtain and protect these assets by formulating innovative policies that address these needs on a local, national, or worldwide basis. When legal action is necessary, our wealth of experience in this area allows us to act with speed and resolution throughout the country.
Members of the Non-Competes, Unfair Competition, and Trade Secrets Practice Group represent businesses in the following ways:
- Preparing enforceable confidentiality agreements and restrictive covenants (i.e., non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disclosure and anti-raiding agreements).
- Creating policies for information ownership, protection and retention (i.e., policies that protect trade secrets and other confidential information, and address electronic discovery requirements and related issues).
- Compensation plan review and design to ensure retention and compliance.
- Advice and counsel regarding structuring and minimization of risk when recruiting individuals or groups of employees.
- Helping clients quickly investigate and respond to situations involving thefts of trade secrets or other types of unfair competition.
- Pursuing and defending litigation involving restrictive covenants, trade secrets, employee raiding, breach of duty of loyalty, breach of contract, unfair competition, and violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Examples of published successes that EBG has achieved for clients in the areas of non-competes, unfair competition, and trade secrets litigation include the following:
- HR Staffing Consultants LLC v. Richard Butts, No. 15-2357, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17202 (3d Cir. Sept. 30, 2015) (the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s order preliminarily enjoining an employee of plaintiff staffing company from disembarking to become employed by a client, holding that plaintiffs had protectable interests in preventing both disintermediation, i.e. “cutting out the middle man,” and the employee from passing on confidential business information to his new employer).
- Deloite & Touche USA LLP v. Lamela, No. Civ.A. 1542-VCP, 2007 WL 1114075 (Del. Ch. 2007) (in litigation to enforce the terms of a restrictive covenant, the court granted partial summary judgment to an EBG client, a former Deloite partner, on the grounds that Deloite failed to show a legitimate business interest sufficient to justify further enforcement of the restrictive covenant).
- Furmanite America v. T.D. Williamson, No. 6:06-cv-641-ORL-19JGG, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61368 (M.D. FL 2006) (EBG defeated request for preliminary injunction in case involving alleged tortious interference, trade slander, theft of trade secrets, and breach of confidentiality agreement).
- The Community Hospital Group, Inc. v. Jay More, M.D., 183 N.J. 36, 869 A.2d 884 (NJ S.Ct. 2005) (holding that non-compete agreements for physicians are valid, enforceable and consistent with, rather than contrary to, public policy and further holding that the EBG client, an employer-hospital, had a legitimate interest in "protecting [the] investment in the training of a physician," in addition to traditionally recognized interests in confidential business information, patient lists, and referral sources; this ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court has since been followed in at least five other states).
- Natsource LLC v. GFI Group, Inc., 332 F.Supp. 2d 626 (S.D. NY 2004) (granting summary judgment in favor of EBG client on claim of attempted monopolization due to employee raiding).
Examples of unpublished successes that EBG has achieved for clients in the areas of non-competes, unfair competition, and trade secrets litigation include the following:
- Obtained temporary restraining order followed by an agreed permanent injunction with punitive damages in a case involving the theft of a food product formula by a former employee.
- After a five-day federal court hearing, obtained a preliminary injunction for a medical services client prohibiting a former employee from working with his new employer based on a non-compete agreement that prohibited the employee from using trade secrets and other confidential information.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing a claim for breach of a non-compete agreement against a start-up commercial real estate business on the grounds that the agreement lacked a geographic limit, and there was no use of trade secrets or confidential information.
- Successfully defended and settled a claim against an aerospace manufacturer for misappropriation of trade secrets in the engineering, design and manufacture of an aerospace product.
- Obtained injunctive relief enforcing contractual provisions limiting franchisee's ability to render unauthorized services.
- Enforced post-departure stock option forfeiture and clawback provision in long-term compensation plan for Fortune 100 company under the employee choice doctrine.