Tag Archives: noncompete

Noncompete Litigation Between Papa John’s and Panera – Lessons For Protecting Competitive Advantages

Earlier this month a federal district court judge entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a former Panera executive and his new employer, Papa Johns. The TRO arose out of a lawsuit to enforce the former Panera executive’s non-compete agreement. That agreement restricted him from competing against Panera for one year after his employment ended. … Continue Reading

Noncompetition Agreements – Impediment to Employee Mobility and Innovation?

The Wall Street Journal, by Aruna Viswanatha, recently asked whether Noncompete Agreements Hobble Junior Employees. Spoiler alert — they do. According to the Journal: Noncompete agreements—common in computing and engineering jobs, where proprietary technology can be at stake—are spreading to other industries and stretching further down the corporate ladder. Labor-law experts say some employers appear … Continue Reading

Dissecting an Injunction Hearing for Enforcing a Non-compete Agreement

In noncompete lawsuits, whether a preliminary injunction should be issued is a critical battle that in large part determines the direction of the lawsuit. For this reason, a recent decision denying a former employer’s motion for injunctive relief in a non-compete enforcement action provides critical insight for companies and individuals. Court Denies Preliminary Injunction in … Continue Reading

Language Counts when it Comes to Enforcing Non-compete Agreements

Companies commonly rely on non-compete restrictions to protect their competitive business interests. But if such post-employment restrictions are not properly drafted, those agreements may not be enforceable if challenged in court. Overview of Non-compete Restrictions Briefly, non-competition restrictions prohibit an employee from going to work for a competitor of a former employer. Such post-employment restrictions … Continue Reading

Michigan Court Cuts Down Non-Compete Agreement

Abraham Lincoln once noted that if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axe. For employers, that sort of up-front attention to details is especially important when it comes to non-compete agreements. Otherwise, as a recent Michigan Court of Appeals illustrates, the only thing likely to … Continue Reading

Is Your Non-compete Agreement Enforceable? Not Without a “Reasonable Competitive Interest”

“Sticking feathers up your butt, does not make you a chicken.“ Tyler Durden, Fight Club Under Michigan law, one required element for having an enforceable non-compete agreement is a “reasonable competitive business interest.” But, like the chicken quote, business owners can’t expect to just stick the phrase “reasonable competitive business interest” into an employee agreement … Continue Reading

What Steps Can Your Business Take to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft?

Trade secret theft continues to be a major concern (or it should be) for businesses. And the numbers back up this conclusion; In an article by  by Will Yakowicz, appearing in Inc., “How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft,” it’s noted that: Criminal theft of corporate trade secrets is reaching epidemic levels, experts say … … Continue Reading

Enforceable Noncompete Agreement Key to $2 Million Judgment Against Former Employee

A recent Michigan trial court decision from the Oakland County Circuit Court illustrates the significance that noncompete agreements can have for employers and individuals who sign such agreements.  Specifically, Crain’s Detroit Business reported that an Oakland County Circuit court entered a judgment in excess of $2 million against Matt Prentice, a former employee and a well-known Metro … Continue Reading

The Challenge of Balancing Noncompete Agreements with Business Growth

In a previous post (Noncompete Agreements – A Hurdle to Employment and Innovation?), we discussed research that suggested noncompete agreements hinder innovation. Expanding on why innovation is hindered, in any context in which a noncompete agreement is entered into e.g., an employment relationship, a founder whose start-up is being acquired, or an owner selling his or her … Continue Reading

Doubting Attorney Google – Relying on Free Legal Search Results Can be Dangerous Thing

A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when legal issues are involved. This truism makes the Internet a virtual minefield for the unwary looking for “free legal advice,” which often happens in the area of post employment restrictions and noncompete agreements. As discussed below, however, a noncompete lawsuit arising from incomplete … Continue Reading

Michigan Noncompete Agreements – Making 2013 a Better Year for Your Business

Business owners had a lot to cry about when it came to 2012 Michigan court decisions addressing noncompete agreements. But, as discussed below, a lot of this frustration arose out of poorly drafted noncompete agreements and failing to fully evaluate the relevant circumstances involving changing employment relationships before reducing those changes to written employment agreements.  … Continue Reading

Playbook for Protecting Trade Secrets Begins with Protecting Your Home Turf

Regardless of your political preferences, President Obama’s election victory offers an important lesson that can be extended to your company’s protection of trade secret intellectual property. In sports – similar to politics or business – a critical strategy for success is the concept of “protecting your home turf.” In this regard, after the dust settled on … Continue Reading

DIY Employment and Noncompete Agreements: Are You Getting What you Pay For?

The storm that has devastated the U.S. east coast has been dubbed “Frankenstorm” because of the devastating effect of a number of separate natural conditions coming together to create a monstrous “super storm.”   While with less devastation and real-life danger, employers often experience their own employment storms as a result of stitching together various … Continue Reading

Preventing an Employee From Working for a Competitor Unravels without an Enforceable Noncompete Agreement

A fantastic, but often overlooked movie is True Romance. The movie stars Christian Slater whose character, Clarence Worley, delivers the following line: If there’s one thing this last week has taught me, it’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. This line should also be … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Misappropriation – $taggering Numbers For Employers to Consider

Last week I attended the State Bar of Michigan’s Information Technology Law Section Seminar, Core Legal Issues in a High-Tech Business World. It was a great overall day of presentations. One presentation that stood out from a business owner’s perspective, however, was given by attorney Leigh Taggart – Protecting Software Trade Secrets. Trade Secret Misappropriation … Continue Reading

My former employer can’t prevent me from working, right? Dissecting the Enforceability of a Noncompete Agreement

After an individual’s employment is terminated and that individual begins working for a competitor or starts his or her own business, a common question asked by both the individual and the former employer is whether a noncompete agreement can be used to restrict one’s post employment opportunities.     The short answer is … well, … Continue Reading

Michigan Continues to Stand Out in Creating Favorable Business Environment By Moving Closer to Creating Specialized Business Courts

On September 11, 2012, Michigan took one step closer to implementing a court system specializing in handling business and commercial cases. Specifically, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved legislation that would create a business court system that would exclusively determine disputes if all or part of the claim included a business or commercial dispute where the amount in … Continue Reading
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