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Four More States Enact Laws Limiting Noncompete Agreements

In recent years, several states have passed laws regulating the use and enforcement of noncompete agreements. The trend of states stepping in to limit the use of such agreements is continuing as Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have enacted noncompete agreement laws close on the heels of Washington's new law.

AT&T Sues Consulting Firm for Trade Secret Theft and Breach of Contract

AT&T Services, Inc. and its subsidiary, DirectTV, LLC (collectively, “AT&T”) sued Max Retrans, LLC (“Max Retrans”), a consulting company that works with local broadcasting companies to sell their content to Pay-TV service providers for re-broadcast.

Do You Need Hard Proof of Data Theft To Bring Trade Secret Claims? Maybe Not

The large majority of employment based trade secret claims start with an employer uncovering evidence that its employee or former employee improperly downloaded confidential business information. But a recent case in Boston illustrates that such evidence may not be necessary to bring a trade secret or unfair competition claim.

Trade Secrets – Courts Won’t Protect You If You Don’t Protect Yourself!

A decision from the Northern District of Illinois is the latest to reiterate a stern warning we have long highlighted for employers: when insufficient steps are taken by an employer to protect its own proprietary information, courts will not provide trade secret protection when such information is misappropriated.

Court Rules That Company’s Facebook Snooping Does Not Prevent Trade Secrets Injunction

Can a former employer’s alleged misconduct defeat a request for injunctive relief against former employees when those departing workers take confidential information and clients to another employer?

Music to Your Ears? Court Rules Bose Can Gather Your Music Listening Habits

According to a recent decision from a federal district court in Illinois, Bose Corp. may monitor and collect information about the music and audio files consumers choose to play through its wireless products and transmit that information to third parties without the consumers’ knowledge. Such action does not violate the federal Wiretap Act or the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute. As such, the Court granted Bose’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s class action claims.

No-Poach Agreements Okay for Fast-Food Franchisees? DOJ Says Maybe!

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) argued no-poach agreements between fast-food franchisors and individual franchisees may actually have certain consumer benefits. While not a perfect shield, this requires more work for challengers of such agreements to prove they are anticompetitive under the Sherman Act.

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Zappos Data Breach Litigation to Proceed

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for a writ of certiorari by Zappos requesting the Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court decision which allowed customers affected by a data breach to proceed with a lawsuit on grounds of vulnerability to fraud and identity theft.

U.S. Senators Seek Formal Investigation Of Non-Compete Use And Impact

Earlier this month, a group of six United States Senators made a joint request for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the impact of non-compete agreements on workers and the U.S. economy as a whole. This action suggests that the federal non-compete reform effort is not going away.

No Poach Agreements Continue To Cause Ire

As many employers know, there is no federal law that prohibits a company from entering into a contract with one of its employees to prevent that employee from quitting, going to a new employer and bring co-workers with him/her. In legal terms, this is usually referred to as a “no-solicitation” provision. State laws dictate the enforceability of these types of provisions generally. A similar type of provision is a “no poach” provision – but this one is between companies and it prohibits them from stealing each other’s employees. These are not so easy to enforce and might actually land a company in some very hot water.
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