Courts are increasingly asked to examine the scope and enforceability of non-solicitation agreements in the age of social networking. With employees using LinkedIn and other websites to stay in touch with current and former colleagues, a recent Illinois appellate court decision helps shed some light on the types of communications that may or may not constitute a breach of a valid non-solicitation agreement.
As 2011 rolls upon us, five non-compete and trade secret issues are likely to share the spotlight in the coming year. Keep an eye out for judicial and legislative action in Texas, California, Massachusetts on state-specific issues. Federal Courts are likely to adress the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. And online social media is going to become a routine part of departing employee case law.
Protecting a company's non-compete and trade secret interests can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider. Here's a list of ten things to keep in mind and some resources to help you take action.
In a sobering reminder that online social media is changing the way the world does business, a federal court recently shot down an employer's trade secret claim based largely upon the availability of information via the internet. Does this mean that employers seeking trade secret status for customer lists and related information should throw up their hands and surrender? No. This case presents a textbook example of what not to do if an employer regards its client information as confidential.
Does your confidentiality and nonsolicitation agreement preclude departing employees from contacting your clients via LinkedIn and other social media? A little clarification can go a long way.