Tag Archives: noncompete agreement

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

Common Mistakes that Derail Enforcement of a Noncompete Agreement

Our law firm was recently hired to represent clients – former employees – being sued for allegedly violating a noncompete agreement, trade secret misappropriation, and other business related claims. As is typical with these sorts of cases, the Plaintiff, the former employer, was seeking injunctive relief in the form of a temporary restraining order (TRO) … 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

Enforcing Noncompete Agreements: How to Avoid Wasting A+ Resources on the C- Employee

Noncompete agreements have become a staple of the employment relationship. These agreements are intended to give employers the ability to protect their business against unreasonable and unfair competition. Such competition usually takes the form of a former employee directly competing against the employer either by starting a similar business or jumping ship for competitor.   … Continue Reading

Enforceability of a Noncompete Agreement will Often Depend Upon Context.

It may sound odd for a noncompete attorney to say this, but when it comes to enforcing a non-compete restriction, the applicable law is often less important than the context in which the noncompete restriction arises. To better understand this point, consider that noncompete restrictions, sometimes referred to as covenants not to compete, often arise … 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

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

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

Holiday and Year-End Bonuses Often Mark the Beginning of Litigation Festivus

Festivus – as introduced by Seinfeld – is a holiday celebration that included the “Airing of Grievances,” i.e., public criticism and pronouncements as to how a particular person has been a disappointment in the past year.  The timing of holiday and year-end bonuses also often mark the beginning of a similar airing of grievances in … Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Introduced to Restrict the Enforceability of Noncompete Agreements

Under Michigan law, noncompetition agreements (sometimes referred to as covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants) are generally enforceable as long as the restriction is reasonable as to subject matter, geographical scope, and duration. But recently proposed legislation would significantly limit Michigan’s noncompete law, which is found in Michigan’s Antitrust Reform Act (MARA), MCL 445.771 … Continue Reading

What Happens When a Noncompete Agreement is Violated? A Blueprint for Noncompete Litigation

Employers commonly require employees to execute noncompetition agreements (also referred to as covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants). Under Michigan law (MCL 445.774a), such agreements will be enforceable if reasonable. In theory, an enforceable noncompete agreement generally places certain limitations on an employee’s ability to work for a competitor or to start a competitive venture business following … Continue Reading

Recent Michigan Court Decision Highlights Weak Link in Enforcing Non-compete Agreement

A recent Michigan Court of Appeals Opinion dealt a serious blow to the enforcement of noncompete agreements. The Opinion invalidated a common provision found in such agreements and it illustrates that courts will closely scrutinize noncompete agreements for any weak links that may limit or otherwise invalidate these agreements.   Overview of Non-compete Agreements Employers … Continue Reading
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