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IBM DROPS SUIT AGAINST FORMER EXEC FOR VIOLATING A NON-COMPETE BY JOINING ORACLE

Joanne Olsen, a former manager at IBM, will be taking a position at Oracle's on-demand group, which sells cloud versions of the company's business software, now that IBM has dropped its suit claiming she violated the terms of her non-compete contract.  Olsen and Oracle argued that the fact that she was unable to negotiate the terms of the agreement made it anti-competitive under California law, according to this article from sys-con.com.

August 16, 2010 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

FORMER EXECUTIVE DENIED PENSION FOR VIOLATION OF NONCOMPETE

According to this article in the National Underwriter, a former exec of Aon Corp. was not entitled to pension benefits because he violated the terms of his noncompete agreement with the company.

May 15, 2010 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT DENIES REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF NONCOMPETE AGREEMENT

This Lexology.com article explains how the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the Trial Court's decision that the duration of the defendants' noncompete agreements with the plaintiff their former employer could not be extended beyond the specified period in the event of a violation because it contained no such provision.

April 12, 2010 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

GEORGIA HOUSE PASSES NONCOMPETE LEGISLATION

The Georgia House of Representatives easily passed an amendment to the state constitution that, if successful, will establish standards for the duration of noncompete agreements in a state where judges lack the blue-pencil option, according to this article from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

April 5, 2010 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

ECONOMY NOT AFFECTING NONCOMPETE JURISPRUDENCE

High unemployment and decreased job opportunity have had surprisingly little impact on noncompete cases, as explained in this article from mondaq.com

March 22, 2010 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

NONCOMPETES HURT BUSINESS AND INNOVATION IN MASSACHUSETTS, SAYS SPARK CAPITAL'S BIJAN SABET

This article from xconomy.com interviews a partner with Boston venture firm Spark Capital who feels New England loses tech labor to Silicon Valley because of California's non-enforcement of employee noncompetes.

June 26, 2009 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

NONCOMPETE AGREEMENTS UPHELD AS UNENFORCEABLE IN CALIFORNIA

This news article from cnet.com's Business Tech section explains how noncompete agreements have been upheld as invalid in California.  Although they were widely used during the dot-com boom to protect intellectual properties amidst tough competition for skilled IT workers, California's history with such agreements goes back to 1872.

August 9, 2008 by Travis Wade of Toomey Legal

DIFFERENT STATES HAVE DIFFERENT LAWS CONCERNING NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS

This article entitled "All Tied Up: A Look At Noncompete Agreements" written by Karen E. Klein of Businessweek.com, warns of the differences in laws of different states, with regard to non-compete agreements. The article highlights the importance of knowing the difference between states concerning the enforcement of non-compete agreements, the terminology used in such agreements, as well as the remedies associated with them.

June 5, 2008 by Christopher A. Leverone of Toomey Legal

BEWARE OF NON-COMPETITION PROVISIONS WHEN LEAVING AN EMPLOYER

A Middlesex Superior Court (Massachusetts) judge found that a former employee violated a non-competition provision of his employment contract by working for a codefendant competitor which was less than 50 miles away from his former employer and ordered a preliminary injunction preventing the defendant from working for the competitor for the next six months. The court found that even if the defendant’s employment with the codefendant competitor was restricted to hiring and training recruiters, performing such services would deemed as engaging in competition with the plaintiff. However, upon further review, the record showed that the defendant’s employment for the codefendant was not so limited to hiring and training, but included contacting, soliciting and servicing accounts and customers with which plaintiff had done business with during the eighteen months before defendant left the plaintiff. As stated by the Superior Court judge, “The court finds that the irreparable harm that NESC is likely to suffer by Grogan’s competitive activities in violation of the non-compete provisions of the employment agreement outweighs the risk of harm that Grogan will suffer if enjoined from such activities for a period of six months from the date of this order. …” The case is National Engineering Services Corp. v. Grogan, et al.

June 5, 2008 by Christopher A. Leverone of Toomey Legal

A HANDY NONCOMPETE OVERVIEW

This article entitled "Non-Compete Agreements - An Overview" by William M. Corrigan, Jr. of Armstrong Teasdale, LLP provides an excellent overview of noncompete law as it pertains to Missouri.

Synopsis: Missouri courts enforce non-compete agreements to protect an employer from unfair competition by a former employee. However, a court will not enforce such a covenant merely to protect the former employer from competition. The enforcement of non-compete agreements is carefully restricted. They are enforceable only if a legitimate protectible interest of the employer is served.

November 29, 2006 by Walter J. Toomey of Toomey Legal

ULTERIOR MOTIVES IN NONCOMPETE AND TRADE SECRET LITIGATION

Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Connolly recently denied a medical product manufacturer's motion to compel discovery from a competing start-up in a case alleging breach of a noncompete and misuse of trade secrets by the manufacturer's former employee who now works for the competitor.  Judge Connolly explained that companies may have ulterior motives in engaging in extensive discovery in cases involving new competition.  Not only can such litigation harm competing start-ups financially, but established companies may attempt to uncover a competitor's technology and trade secrets inappropriately through discovery under the guise of a noncompete or trade secret case.  In the case over which Judge Connolly presided, Lifescan, Inc., et al. v. O'Connell, et al., the manufacturer had not been able to find any trade secret violations by the defendant former employee in over 17 months.  In light of the manufacturer's small chances of success on the merits and lack of apparent risk of harm, Judge Connolly denied the manufacturer's motion to compel discovery and vacated the temporary restraining order against the former employee.

October 19, 2005 by Walter J. Toomey of Toomey Legal

A PERSPECTIVE ON NONCOMPETE AGREEMENTS FROM MICROSOFT V. GOOGLE

This post, by MassLawBlog.com, gives an interesting overview of the contested noncompete agreement regarding Dr. Kai-Fu Lee at issue in Microsoft v. Google.  The post discusses a few of the issues in the case and points to a few things Dr. Lee's lawyers did well to protect him, and a few things Microsoft's attorneys overlooked.  This is just one more reminder of how important it is for employers to have their noncompete agreements updated and reviewed if they expect to be able to enforce them.

September 19, 2005 by Walter J. Toomey of Toomey Legal

 

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