The Trade Secret & Employee Raiding Blog

For years, California courts have recognized the right of employers to use non-solicitation provisions in employment agreements to prevent employees from “soliciting” their coworkers to join them at a new employer. For instance, in 1985, a California appellate court in Loral Corp v. Moyes, 174 Cal.App.3d 268 (1985), held that a non-solicitation of fellow employees provision in an employment agreement was lawful because the co-workers were free to seek employment with a competitor, they just…
By Sherry Bragg Businesses at every level – from Fortune 500 companies to solo-inventor enterprises – rely on trade secret protections to safeguard their intellectual property trade secrets. American companies and innovators now have additional protections for their valuable intellectual property assets in the newly enacted federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). This legislation represents the most significant trade secret reform legislation in years. Essentially, the DTSA extends the current Economic Espionage Act of 1996,…
Super Lawyers has released its Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego lists of outstanding attorneys for 2016, on which 33 Weintraub Tobin attorneys have been included. Three Weintraub Tobin attorneys received special honors in their respective regions. To learn more, click here: http://bit.ly/29Wsut4
When companies sue their former employees for theft they often claim that the former employee’s new employer has conspired with the former employee to misappropriate trade secrets, or that that new employer has aided and abetted the former employee’s breach of duty he/she owed to his/her former employer. Like Woodward and Bernstein, liability “follows the money.”  Current employers are often added to trade secret and breach of duty lawsuits because they have deeper pockets…
Senate and House of Representatives Pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA).  First federal trade secret bill awaiting presidential signature.  More details can be found at the following Forbes article:  “The New Defend Trade Secrets Act is the Biggest IP Development in Years,” dated April 28, 2016.…
California’s prohibition on non-competition agreements is less than absolute.  For example, non-compete agreements may be enforced against partners or sellers of businesses.  Additionally, in SingerLewak LLP v. Andrew Gantman (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 610, a California Appellate Court affirmed an arbitration award that would be considered by most to be a misapplication of California’s non-competition law. The underlying dispute arises from provision within a partnership agreement that imposed a cost on a departing partner (Gantman) who…
Companies and employers around the country seek to protect their intellectual property by, among other things, using non-compete provisions in employment agreements. Generally, these provisions are intended to prevent an employee from soliciting or doing business with a former employer’s customer/clients over a set period of time and/or in regard to a set geographical area. Under California law, and specifically Business and Professions Code section 16600, such provisions are unenforceable unless they fall within one…
In the bustling craft brew economy brewers are faced with new issues every day. One that recently came to my attention arises when the craft brewery’s brewmaster or head brewer decides to either start his own craft brewery, or go to work for another brewery. While this may not initially seem like a big deal, it gets much more complicated when that brewmaster or brewer is responsible for the creation of your flagship brew. The…
The use of “No Rehire” Provisions in settlement agreements between employers and their former employees allow employers to protect themselves against “boomerang” lawsuits.  For instance, a former employee who claims he/she was terminated because of discrimination would be prevented from later submitting a new job application and then suing the employer again claiming he/she was not hired because of discrimination.  This common provision is basically an agreement by the employee that in exchange for consideration,…
This blog has previously reported on the anti-poaching cases involving various tech companies in Silicon Valley.  The cases arise out of alleged agreements between various tech companies not to recruit each other’s employees.  The U.S. Department of Justice brought antitrust actions as a result of these alleged agreements which resulted in the companies entering into settlements with the government.  In addition to the government’s actions, a class action was filed on behalf of tech employees…