We developed this blog to provide timely and important legal updates and helpful insights for employers, employees and attorneys. Be sure to check this blog regularly as a valuable resource to keep you abreast of non-compete, trade secret and other competition-related legal issues in Georgia as well as other significant updates from other states.
We hope you will find this blog useful and informative.
By Benjamin I. Fink
1. Patents and trade secrets are not mutually exclusive; they are complementary
2. If you don't have any way to detect infringement of a patent, you should consider keeping your invention secret and not patent it.
3. One way to protect trade secrets is to "split up" the information among employees so very few individuals have the complete picture. This might be hard to implement as a practical matter.
4. Failed mergers and acquisitions present significant risk of Read more [...]
By Neal Weinrich
Some more interesting nuggets and thoughts from the Trade Secret Summit:
The first known non-compete was from 1414. An apprentice learning clothes-dying was subject to a non-compete. It wasn’t enforced because of the shortage of labor due to the Bubonic Plague.
Anybody know non-competes are responsible for the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame being in Cleveland? The famous DJ, Allen Freed, who is credited with coining the term rock-and-roll, moved from Akron to Cleveland Read more [...]
By Benjamin I. Fink
1. Judges will bend over backward to protect information that is a trade secret, but often will not enjoin people from working for a competitor absent compelling circumstances.
2. Judges really don't like when people steal information from their employers.
3. Judges understand the urgency in non-compete and trade secret cases and will hear emergency injunction requests quickly, but expect the lawyers to be honest with them about the true nature of the emergency.
4. Read more [...]
Below are 10 takeaways from the afternoon session of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secret Summit in Boston.
1. Public companies need to consider reporting requirements when trade secrets are stolen.
2. Public companies need to consider whether potential theft of trade secrets is a material risk that must be disclosed.
3. All companies need to conduct due diligence on their vendors, if vendors will be connected in a way that could allow access Read more [...]
1. The FBI has significant resources devoted to investigation and prosecution of trade secret theft and they are willing to help companies better protect their trade secrets.
2. Companies need to identify what information is a trade secret and develop a plan to protect it -- this can be a daunting process, but companies have to start somewhere.
3. Everyone in the company does not need access to everything and shouldn't.
4. CREATE.org (Center for Responsible Enterprise Trade) has some great Read more [...]
I am in Boston attending the Trade Secret Summit hosted by the Trade Secret Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. There have already been a number of excellent and informative presentations. A few thoughts and takeaways thus far:
Cybersecurity risks come from all directions. Many tend to think of China as presenting the greatest cybersecurity risk for corporate America, but in addition to rogue nation-states, the potential threats come from many other sources: Read more [...]
Today, I am co-presenting at the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trade Secret Summit in Boston. Below is an excerpt from a paper that provides an update on state law legislative developments relating to non-competes and trade secrets.
In 2015, several states have recently introduced or passed legislation dealing with the law of trade secrets and non-compete agreements. Several states have introduced California-style bans on non-competes, but so far only Hawaii has passed Read more [...]
From time to time, it's interesting to share perspectives of non-compete matters outside of Georgia. Below is an interesting blog post from a Florida attorney titled "Florida Will Never Be a Tech Hub (Hint: Non-Competes)."
Read more [...]
Putters v. Rmax Operating, LLC, Civil Action File No: 1:13-cv-3382-TWT, 2014 WL 1466902 (N.D. Ga. April 15, 2014), is a recent decision that involves a number of issues that frequently come up in competition-related cases.
Rmax Operating, LLC (“Rmax”) manufactures and sells insulation materials for buildings. Charles Putters was employed with Rmax as a sales manager.
Mr. Putters resigned in August of 2013. He then began working for a competitor, Atlas Roofing Corporation (“Atlas”).
When Read more [...]
We just closed an M&A transaction in which we represented the selling shareholders.
The company has substantial intellectual property but failed to have its employees sign confidentiality agreements. As expected, the buyer wanted each employee to sign such an agreement. To accomplish this, the selling shareholders had to pay employees as an incentive to sign the confidentiality agreements. Had the company required the employees to sign confidentiality agreements at the start of the employment, Read more [...]