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Non-Compete Blog

Posts from April 2015.

Litigation arising out of employment contracts that contain non-compete, non-disclosure/trade secret, no employee raiding or non-solicitation of customer provisions often involve high stakes, including the protection of trade secrets, the ability to practice one’s trade, the elimination of a competitor, or maintaining key client relationships. Businesses have long sought to guard against unfair competition and to protect their trade secrets and market share. Regardless of whether it was in 1414 in Dyer’s Case, where, in the first recorded restrictive covenant case, an English court refused a master’s request to preclude his apprentice from practicing his trade in London for 2 years following the end of his apprenticeship or today in New York where courts are willing to enforce a restrictive covenant agreement if reasonable in time and geographic scope, and necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests.

In the past, restrictive covenant disputes often began with a boiler-plate cease-and-desist letter from an aggrieved former employer.  The letter usually began: “We have been retained by….and it has come to our attention…” and then reminded the former employee and perhaps his or her new employer of the former employee’s non-solicitation, confidentiality, and non-compete agreements.  The letter often ended with a demand that the employee cease all breaching conduct and a never-accepted invitation to “feel free” to contact the sender “should you have any questions.”  More often than not, such letters were ignored and thrown away.

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