This is the first post in the new Duane Morris Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of blogs relating to this area of the law. Why read this one? Here are three good reasons:
- Unlike many, and perhaps most of the blogs that currently exist, this one will be written principally by someone who actually goes to trial and injunction hearings on non-compete and trade secret cases across the country for a variety of clients (big and small) in industries ranging from medical devices to copier equipment to aluminum can coatings, and everything in between. Among the reported decisions (there are countless others that are unreported) in this area of the law in which I was lead trial counsel are the following: The Valspar Corporation v. Van Kuren, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111862 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 9, 2012); (enjoining former employee who had no non-compete or other post-employment restrictive covenant from taking a competitive position, on the grounds that he was substantially likely to misappropriate the former employer’s trade secrets in his competitive position — only the second U.S. District Court decision (the celebrated Bimbo Bakeries case being the first) decided under Pennsylvania law enjoining a former employee who had no non-compete or other post-employment restrictive covenant from taking a competitive position); Missett v. HUB International of Pennsylvania, LLC, 6 A.3d 530 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2010) (key and oft-cited Pennsylvania decision standing for the proposition that the fact an employee was terminated cannot form the sole basis for a court’s refusal to enforce a post-employment restrictive covenant) [Editor’s Note: I represented the employee in this case – and therefore lost on appeal after having won in the trial court. The post-script is that the trial court, on remand, granted summary judgment in my client’s favor, although that decision is now also up on appeal); and IKON Office Solutions, Inc. v. Dale, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 22855 (8th Cir. 2001) (affirming preliminary injunction issued by trial court enjoining former employees and the competitive business they started from competing in violation of sale-of-business covenant not to compete).
- In addition to representing employers pursuing trade secret, non-compete and other post-employment restrictive covenant violations against their former employees, I also represent employers (and their employees) who are accused of violating post-employment restrictive covenants with, and/or misappropriating the trade secrets of, a former employer. Thus, my experience is on both sides of these issues, and I (and my colleagues who will help write this blog) can offer perspectives that not many other attorneys who actually practice in this area can, since many of those attorneys represent either the plaintiff company or the defendant employee, but not both. Which leads to the third reason to read this blog . . .
- This blog will focus on practical and real world considerations in these types of cases. The blog is geared toward in-house counsel, human resource professionals and other business executives who deal every day (or seemingly every day) with issues relating to the departure of employees to competitors, and the recruitment and hiring of individuals from competitors. The in-house lawyers and human resource professionals who I regularly deal with are always dealing with both sides of these issues. This blog is directed to them, and all other in-house lawyers, human resource professionals, and other business leaders who also deal with these issues on a day-to-day basis. That being said, all are welcome to read the blog!
That’s it for our first post. In addition to striving to keep the blog informative, we’ll also try to keep it entertaining. We look forward to what will hopefully be a following that extends beyond my wife and mother!