The Labor & Employment Law Blog Focusing on legal trends in data security, cloud computing, data privacy, and anything E

Category Archives: Trade Secrets and Competition

Subscribe to Trade Secrets and Competition RSS Feed

Upcoming Seminar: Employment Law Update

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Harassment, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Reductions in Force, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination, Trade Secrets and Competition, Wage & Hour

2014  – A Year in Review 2015 – An Interesting Year Ahead Summary of Program Join the attorneys from Weintraub Tobin’s Labor and Employment Group as they discuss important legal developments from 2014 and review the complexities of a number of new laws facing employers in 2015.  Sacramento Date:    January 8, 2015 Time:   9:00 a.m…. Continue Reading

Weintraub Tobin Announces the Addition of Vida L. Thomas to Our Labor & Employment Team

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Harassment, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Reductions in Force, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination, Trade Secrets and Competition, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour

The Labor and Employment Law group is proud to announce the addition of Vida L. Thomas to our team.  An AV-rated attorney who has practiced employment law for over 20 years, Vida has recently joined Weintraub Tobin as Of Counsel and will head up the Firm’s workplace investigations unit.  She began her career at Kronick… Continue Reading

A Noncompete To Go With Your Sandwich?

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

A few months ago, this blog noted that there was press coverage about the nationwide increase in the use of noncompete agreements in various industries.  A story that has made the rounds in the past week illustrates this point clearly.  Jimmy Johns, a “gourmet sandwich” franchise, has apparently been inserting noncompete provisions in its employment… Continue Reading

Brown Resurrects Civility in Litigation

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

By:  Shauna N. Correia Gov. Jerry Brown has resurrected an expired law, Cal. Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5. This is a positive development for ethical lawyers and their clients, who find themselves dealing with bad-faith litigation tactics coming from another other party or attorney, but without a meaningful way to combat it.  This law restores… Continue Reading

“No-Poaching” Lawsuits Come to Hollywood

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Readers of this blog are familiar with our coverage of the various cases involving high tech firms in Silicon Valley such as Google and Adobe involving alleged “no poaching” agreements that they would not solicit each other’s employees for possible employment.  Both the U.S. Government and plaintiff class action attorneys have alleged that such conduct… Continue Reading

California Businessman Sentenced to 15 Years for Trade Secret Theft

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

A California businessman, Walter Liew, was recently sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after being found guilty by a jury on charges of trade secret theft, economic espionage, witness tampering and making false statements.  Mr. Liew, who had contracts with a Chinese company Pangang Group, was charged with stealing trade secrets from DuPont that… Continue Reading

New York Times Article: Noncompete Clauses Increasingly Pop Up in Array of Jobs

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

What do yoga instructors, event planners and exterminators have in common?  These are fields that are reportedly witnessing an increase in the use of noncompete provisions in employment agreements.  Details of this increase in the use of noncompete provisions were reported in a New York Times article this Sunday.  Click here to view article. While… Continue Reading

Non-Competes and the “Trade Secret Exception” Revisited

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

We periodically discuss California law regarding non-compete provisions in this Blog. The California Supreme Court has made clear that non-compete provisions are unenforceable unless they fall within one of the statutory exceptions set out in sections 16601 et seq. (i.e., in connection with the sale of a business, goodwill, etc.).  Over the years, courts have… Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Affirms Trial Court Award of “Bad Faith” Attorney’s Fees

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Readers of this blog may recall our discussion of a “bad faith” attorney’s fees award made by the trial court in the Aerotek v. The Johnson Group case.   To view a copy of our previous post, click here.  As a refresher, Aerotek sued its former employee and that former employer’s new employer claiming misappropriation… Continue Reading

High Stakes High Tech Drama: Why Companies with Millions of Users Are Concerned About A Class Action Lawsuit By Thousands of Workers

Posted in Employment Contracts and Agreements, Labor Law, Trade Secrets and Competition

As you will recall from previous posts, a large high tech antitrust class action is being waged in California that has major implications for employer non-solicitation agreements.  Questions regarding agreements between employers that impact employee mobility are being addressed in this lawsuit against the backdrop of antitrust allegations. High-Tech Employee Mobility Antitrust Class Action: Background… Continue Reading

Space Still Available for Upcoming Seminar (Orange County): Think You’re Up On The Current Laws? April Fools

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Harassment, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination, Trade Secrets and Competition, Wage & Hour

Summary of Program Join the attorneys from Weintraub Tobin’s Labor and Employment Group as they discuss important legal developments from 2013 and review the complexities of a number of new laws facing employers in 2014. Program Highlights New Federal and State Legislation and Regulatory Requirements Updates in the World of Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Law… Continue Reading

Another Non-Compete Held Unenforceable

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Under California law, non-compete provisions with an employee are generally unenforceable.  Statutory exceptions to this rule include the seller of a business’s goodwill or a membership interest in an LLC.  Courts have also recognized a judicial exception to this rule: where the non-compete is necessary to protect an employer’s trade secret information.  This judicial exception… Continue Reading

Trade Secrets and “Susceptibility” to Reverse Engineering

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Sometimes a defendant accused of trade secret misappropriation can defend on the basis that it has “reversed engineered” the alleged trade secret information and therefore did not misappropriate it.  For instance, a defendant may be able to establish that it examined plaintiff’s product and then using its own know-how, time, energy and independent resources was… Continue Reading

Weintraub Tobin’s 2014 Labor & Employment Seminars and Training Schedule

Posted in Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, Employee Privacy Rights, Employment Contracts and Agreements, FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Harassment, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Reductions in Force, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination, Trade Secrets and Competition, Wage & Hour

Hot off the print press –  Weintraub Tobin’s 2014 Labor and Employment Training and Seminar Schedule is now available.   Click here for a copy of the schedule. Our Employment Law Update is scheduled for January 16, 2014 (Sacramento) and January 23, 2014 (San Francisco).   Seating is limited so register early to reserve your spot.  Please contact… Continue Reading

Attorneys’ Fees For “Bad Faith” Trade Secret Claims: How Pre-Discovery Disclosures Can Help

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

A central issue in all trade secret litigation is the adequacy of a plaintiff’s pre-discovery disclosure of the alleged trade secrets required by California Code of Civil Procedure section 2019.210.  Section 2019.210 provides that a plaintiff suing for misappropriation of trade secrets must identify the alleged trade secrets with “reasonable particularity” before commencing discovery.  The disclosure requirements… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules DOMA Section 3 Unconstitutional

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  The case, United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ____ (2013), involved the portion of DOMA that stated that the federal government will only recognize marriages between opposite-sex spouses for purposes of federal law.  There are over… Continue Reading

Covenants Not To Compete: Restraining a Seller/Employee Against Competition – Not As Easy As it Looks

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Section 16601 of the California Business and Professions Code provides a well-known exception to California’s statutory refusal to enforce contractual commitments not to compete.  Under that section, Courts will enforce “reasonable” restrictions on the seller of a business to engage in competition against the buyer of that business.  This is a commonsense approach: a buyer… Continue Reading

Covenants Not to Compete: Five “Exceptions” That Do Not Swallow the Rule

Posted in Trade Secrets and Competition

Everybody who cares probably knows that, in California, covenants not to compete (agreements that restrain an individual from pursuing a lawful trade of profession) are generally unenforceable.  There are only five “exceptions” to this rule.  I put “exceptions” in quotes because two of them really aren’t exceptions at all. They are independent legal doctrines that… Continue Reading