Better Think Twice About Enforcing A Non-Compete






Over the last couple of years, there has been an increase in employees striking back against employers trying to enforce non-compete agreements.  In those cases, the employee argues that his former employer has interfered with his new job or business relationships. For example, an employee in Rutherford County, Tennessee sued his former employer for getting […]

Read the full article

Continued Employment is Enough for a Severance Agreement






Here’s one where the tables were turned. Former employees often argue that a non-compete agreement is unenforceable because there was inadequate “consideration.” Consideration is the exchange parties to a contract make, what one side gives to the other that makes the contract binding. Consideration can be in the form of a promise for a promise, […]

Read the full article

Recent Georgia Court of Appeals Case Highlights Alternative Theories of Relief in Unfair Competition Case






Beginning in law school, attorneys are trained to learn from reported appellate cases, and that education never stops.  In a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case involving claims of unfair competition, Lyman v. Cellchem Int’l LLC (decided November 19, 2015; Case No. A15A1282), the court partially affirmed a $7.4 million jury verdict against a couple accused […]

Read the full article

The Multi-State Non-Compete Agreement – Part 3






Our most recent article in this series (May, 2015) addressed the first step of the analysis necessary for the multi-state employer’s design and implementation of a manageable, limited number of noncompete agreements compliant with most, if not all, applicable state laws. That article addressed the identification of the “protectable interests” amongst all employees with the […]

Read the full article

The Chicago Cubs, Errors, and Arbitration of Florida Non-Compete Agreements






Some clients prefer to resolve disputes in arbitration. In theory, an arbitration proceeding can more quickly and — in some instances — more cost effectively resolve disputes. However because most arbitration clauses call for binding arbitration, many clients prefer to litigate disputes in court. At least a defeat in a courtroom carries with it the […]

Read the full article

Eight-Figure Judgments in Trade Secret Cases – Do We Have Your Attention Now?






The conventional wisdom among attorneys and litigants in the noncompete and trade secret arena is that the cases are all about the injunctions, usually at the TRO and interlocutory injunction stage.  Some judgments handed down around the country in the last month, however, prove that the damages portion of these cases can be just as […]

Read the full article

Florida Non-Competes: Physicians, Attorneys, Quarterbacks, Oh My…






Regular readers of this blog know that Florida law allows “valid restraints of trade,” under certain circumstances. Those restrictions apply to the employer-employee relationship when written and duly executed in accordance with Florida statutes. These restraints of trade are commonly called “Non-Compete” or “Non- Competition” agreements. There are similar restrictions that can prohibit a departing […]

Read the full article

Alabama’s New Non-Compete Statute: Are You Ready For New Year’s Day?






Those involved in drafting, negotiating, or litigating covenants-not-to-compete in Alabama have long known that Alabama’s statute books seldom provide ready answers on this particular topic.  The text of current Alabama Code § 8-1-1, entitled “Contracts restraining business void; exceptions,” was — until this year — last amended in 1940.  This text consists of three short paragraphs […]

Read the full article

En Banc Federal Circuit Changes Standard for Using Functional Language in Patent Claims






Richard A. Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, et al. (No. 2013-1130) 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 6 allows patent applicants to draft their claims in a way that recites a function to be performed, rather than by reciting a structure that performs the function.  Drafting claim limitations in this “means-plus-function” format, however, limits the scope of […]

Read the full article

Supreme Court Strikes Down New Defense to Inducing Patent Infringement






Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (No. 13-896) On May 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (No. 13-896), rejecting the accused patent infringer’s argument that a good faith belief that the patent is invalid is a defense to induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b). […]

Read the full article