Trade Secrets and Competition

2013  – A Year in Review

2014 – 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 2013 and review the complexities of a number of new laws facing employersin 2014. 

Sacramento Date:    January 16, 2014

Time:   9:00 a.m. –

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

By: James Kachmar

When one or more of your key employees leaves to join a competitor and begins soliciting your customers, one of your strongest weapons under California’s trade secret laws is the ability to obtain an immediate temporary restraining order to stop your former employee and his or new employer from unlawfully competing against you. Many trade secrets cases can be won or lost at the early TRO/preliminary injunction stage. However, it is imperative that employers act fast to protect their rights or they may find that their trade secret case is weakened. Employers may, when faced with departing employees who are soliciting their customers, take a wait and see approach to determine the amount of damage and whether it is worthwhile to hire an attorney to pursue the matter in the court system. While this may make sense from a business approach, it can adversely impact the employer’s remedies should it eventually decide to pursue a lawsuit.


Continue Reading Employers: Act Fast or Weaken Your Trade Secret Case

By:   James Kachmar

Those of you who attended our seminar on protecting confidential and trade secret information last Spring may recall our discussion about a trade secret misappropriation case involving a Twitter account. In that case, PhoneDog v. Kravitz, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129229 (N.D. Cal. 2011), a product news and review company, PhoneDog, claimed it issued Twitter accounts to its employees so that they could publish content for users to support PhoneDog’s business. When one employee, Kravitz, left PhoneDog, he refused to provide PhoneDog with access to the Twitter account he was assigned, changed its handle to delete references to PhoneDog, and continued to use it (with its 17,000 followers) for personal purposes.


Continue Reading A Reminder to Employers of the Need for Social Media Policies

By:       James Kachmar

Readers of this blog will note that we frequently remind them that California law generally prohibits non-compete agreements. There are very limited exceptions to this general rule, one being that the seller of goodwill in a business can be bound by a valid non-compete agreement to protect the goodwill that is being purchased. Sometimes, the buyer of a company will want to continue to employ certain key employees, who can also be the sellers of the goodwill of the former company.   We have seen instances where the purchasing company gets creative and subjects the seller/key employee to two covenants not to compete, one in the purchase agreement and the other in an employment agreement.   Last week, a California appellate court shut the door on this approach in the case Fillpoint, LLC v. Maas.


Continue Reading Another Door Closes on Non-Compete Agreements