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.
The Defend Trade Secrets Act emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning after a voice vote in favor of its passage. This is a significant step toward passage of a federal trade secrets statute. It is unclear at this time when it will be presented to the full Senate for a floor vote. It is also unclear when the House may consider the proposed legislation, though the House introduced its own version of the DTSA last July. The House version now has more than 100 co-sponsors.
Some Read more [...]
Deciding whether to pursue litigation to resolve a dispute is a business decision. The associated expense is one of many factors to consider. The default rule, known as the "American Rule", is that each party pays its own attorney's fees in court, win or lose. The rationale behind this rule is that fear of the possibly having to pay an adversary’s attorney’s fees should not discourage a party from seeking redress for perceived wrongs in court. This can frustrate business owners, who often Read more [...]
This morning, I spoke and presented at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's Georgia Non-Compete/Trade Secret Seminar at State Bar of Georgia. Below are my top seven observations of non-compete and trade secrets activity in Georgia:
There is still no substantive guidance from the appellate courts in Georgia on the non-compete statute passed in 2011.
There are gaps in who is covered by the statute that are fraught with peril for the unwary.
A constitutional challenge to the statute Read more [...]
On Friday, January 8, 2016, former St. Louis Cardinals Director of Baseball Development, Christopher Correa, pleaded guilty to criminal charges for breaching the private database of the Houston Astros. Correa admitted using someone else’s password to gain access to email, and accessing the player database of the Astros. From March 2013 through at least March 2014, Correa’s gained access to the database to learn what players the Astros were considering for the MLB draft and also to view notes Read more [...]
Most sports fans have now heard the latest on Johnny Manziel. He was supposed to be at the Browns’ facility this past Sunday morning to meet with doctors as part of the concussion protocol. Instead he was apparently in Las Vegas partying. To try to avoid being recognized, he supposedly wore a blonde wig around the casinos. When rumors began circulating on social media that he was in Las Vegas, he posted a picture on Instagram of him and his dog cuddling on the floor. He added the hashtag Read more [...]
Employment laws and regulations are constantly changing, creating challenges for employers and their executives who handle human resource issues. As we enter the new year, below is a summary of five key employment issues to be aware of in 2016.
1. Protecting Trade Secrets
In today’s business landscape, protecting your competitive edge is more important than ever. Non-compete, trade secret and related litigation is rising as employers attempt to prevent present and former employees from unfairly Read more [...]
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 trade secret misappropriation.
5. Read more [...]
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 due to his non-compete Read more [...]
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. Choosing trade secret Read more [...]