| Read Time: < 1 minute | #Noncompete Agreements

Noncompete Agreements in Texas: In Non-Compete Cases, Suing Only Individual Defendant Can Be Risky Strategy

Company X’s employee (who is bound by a non-compete agreement) resigns and begins working for Company Y (a competitor of Company X).  Company X sues its former employee for violating his non-compete.  Months later, they reach a settlement, and a final judgment is entered. Company X can then sue Company Y for tortiously interfering with the non-compete agreement between...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | #Trade Secrets

Following Trade Secret Cases With International Implications

Increasingly, America’s economic preeminence in the world is challenged by other nations, including most notably China.  In some cases, "economic espionage" is alleged when American trade secrets are taken abroad.  Here’s an interesting story about DuPont’s trade secrets that were taken in the U.S. and, it was believed, bound for China:   http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070302/NEWS/703020363/-1/NEWS01   www.mylawteam.com

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | #Fiduciary Duty

Texas Breach of Fiduciary Duty Law: Injunctive Relief Available for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

To get an injunction restraining former employees from competing, an employer needs a valid non-compete agreement or a misappropriation of trade secrets claim, right?  Wrong.  A breach of fiduciary duty (duty of loyalty) can also warrant injunctive relief. In a case decided several years ago, two employees worked for a company (“the Corporation”) that was involved in the institutional...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | #Noncompete Agreements

Texas Non Compete Law After Sheshunoff: Promise to Convey Confidential Information to Former Employee Unnecessary

Another quick hit on the ramifications of Sheshenoff.  In recent years, employers have not infrequently added to their non-compete agreements a promise to convey confidential information to the employee, even if the employee no longer worked for the employer when the information was conveyed.  The purpose of this was to address the employee’s argument that, "Because I’m an at-will...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | #Trade Secrets

New Theories in Trade Secret Misappropriation Cases?

The elements for misappropriation of trade secrets under Texas law are well known. A plaintiff must establish that: (a) a trade secret existed; (b) the trade secret was acquired through a breach of a confidential relationship or was discovered by improper means; (c) the defendant used the trade secret without the plaintiff’s authorization; and (d) the plaintiff suffered damages...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | #Tortious Interference

Texas Tortious Interference Law: Tortious Interference with an At-Will Contract

In tortious interference with contract (or prospective business relations) cases, plaintiffs often contend that their contracts with customers—or employees—have been unlawfully interfered with. In many situations, the contract alleged to have been interfered with is an “at-will” contract (i.e., it is a contract that can be canceled by either party at any time, for any reason). An at-will employment...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | #Fiduciary Duty

Texas Breach of Fiduciary Damages: Can Recover Damages Even Though Not Actually Harmed

An employee may be liable for breach of fiduciary duty to his employer—even if his employer suffers no actual damages as a result of the offending conduct.  So learned an employee in a recent case. In that case, the employee, a Project Manager for a general construction contractor, was responsible for locating potential subcontractors for the project, soliciting bids...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | #Noncompete Agreements

Texas Non Compete Agreements. What Constitutes a Promise to Give Confidential Information?

In a recent case, the employer’s consideration in exchange for the employee’s promise not to compete was set forth in the following provision:   Employer hereby agrees to provide to Employee any specialized training necessary, in the opinion of Employer, to allow Employee to conduct the duties of employment with Employer. Employer further agrees to provide to Employee any...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | #Noncompete Agreements

Texas Non Compete Contracts: Is Term of Employment Sufficient Consideration for Non-Compete?

One of the most frequently-litigated issues involving noncompete agreements is whether the consideration given by the employer was adequate. There are generally two parts to the inquiry: one, whether the consideration given was real (i.e., not “illusory”); and two, whether the consideration given justified the noncompete agreement in question. Giving a definite term of employment satisfies the first requirement,...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | #Tortious Interference

Texas Tortious Interference with Contract Law: Tortious Interference vs. Fair Competition

In our free market economy, it’s a given that competition is a good thing, right? Theoretically, yes, but courts have made it clear that competition, to be lawful, must also be “fair.”  A Texas case shed some light on the difference between fair and unlawful competition. Renew Data Corporation ("Renew") provided computer forensic services for corporations. Renew would search...

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