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 […]

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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 […]

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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). […]

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Tom Brady, Deflategate, and Florida Non-Competes






On far too many levels, Tom Brady is a star. “Deflategate” or not. Whether he actively participated in deflategate, passively participated in deflategate, or did not at all participate in deflategate, Tom Brady is a star. He belongs in the Hall of Fame. The committee no-doubt will vote him into the Hall of Fame at […]

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The Multi-State Non-Compete Agreement “Drilled Down”






Our February article addressed the options available to the multi-state employer attempting to design its non-compete agreements within the “tangled mess” of the various state laws applicable to agreements for employees who reside within those various states. In that article, we advised that unless management has the resources to design, update and manage separate agreements […]

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Supreme Court Considers New Defense to Inducing Infringement






Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (No. 13-896) On March 31, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (No. 13-896), which relates to whether a defendant can be liable for inducing infringement if the defendant had a good faith belief that the asserted patent is invalid. […]

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Florida Non-Competes and the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen






After a wild weekend of some predictably close games and some stunning upsets, the original 68 teams vying to play among “bracketology’s” fortunate 64 are now whittled down to the sixteen teams left standing. The President of the United States picked Villanova to play deep into the tournament. Alas, a scrappy NC State Wolfpack team […]

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SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers






The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank amendments. Wall St. J. at C1 (Feb. 26, 2015). We reported last November on a letter from eight House […]

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New Year’s Resolution Continued: the Multi-State Non-Compete Agreement






With (most of) 2015 ahead, it is an opportune time to continue with our theme of employee non-compete agreements and resolving to review, assess and update your company’s agreements as a critical component of your ongoing and vital asset protection program. It goes without saying that an otherwise good start to the new year can […]

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Supreme Court Changes Standard Of Review For Patent Claim Construction Rulings






Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. – No. 13-854 – January 20, 2015 In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court revised the standard of review used by the Federal Circuit for nearly twenty years in reviewing claim construction rulings, replacing a de novo standard with a “clearly erroneous” standard. Teva […]

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