Blue Pencil Really “Just an Eraser” — Indiana Courts Cannot Fix Overbroad Non-Competes By Adding New Terms

Non-Compete, Non-Solicit, Indiana, blue pencil doctrine, Employment Agreements

The Indiana Supreme Court[1] has reaffirmed its narrow interpretation of the “blue pencil” doctrine, holding that courts may not add terms to an overbroad non-solicitation or non-competition provision to make it reasonable even if the contract has a reformation clause.

As the court puts it: “This doctrine … is really just an eraser.”   Continue reading

To Delete or Not to Delete? Illinois Federal Court Helps Answer Question for Employees Changing Jobs

Illinois, Employment Agreements, Spoliation, Confidentiality Clauses, Trade Secrets

A common issue in employee transitions is how to deal with company information on an employee’s phone or personal laptop. Should the employee simply delete it? Or should a forensic copy be made before deletion to preserve evidence in anticipation of litigation?

A recent decision by U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois gives comfort to those who opt for the more pragmatic approach of simply deleting the data. Even so, the case suggests steps that could have been taken to avoid litigation and a claim of destruction of evidence.  Continue reading

New Efforts On All Sides to End Non-Compete Agreements

Non-Compete, Employment Agreements, Restrictive Covenants, Senate Bill 2614

Non-compete agreements are in the cross-hairs of both federal and state officials, who are looking to ban non-competes in many instances. Senate Bill 2614, introduced on October 16, 2019, if enacted, would outlaw most non-compete agreements as a matter of federal law. There would be a few limited exceptions. In addition, the Attorneys General of nearly twenty states and the District of Columbia have urged the Federal Trade Commission to use its rulemaking authority to end the use of non-compete clauses in employment contracts. Continue reading

Dilly Dilly! The 7th Circuit Remands Preliminary Injunction in Bud Light Case for Not Being Set Forth in a Separate Document

 

Bud Light King

When is a preliminary injunction not really a preliminary injunction?  When it is contained in the body of the opinion granting the injunction, rather than being made a stand-alone injunctive order – at least according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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When Is a Trade Secret Not a Trade Secret? When You Don’t Protect It Like One

Non-compete, confidentiality clauses, nondisclosure, employment agreements, Illinois

In Abrasic 90 Inc. v. Weldcote Metals, Inc., 364 F. Supp.3d 888 (N.D. Ill., 2019), U.S. District Court Judge Tharp of the Northern District of Illinois provides a virtual checklist of the steps a company should consider if it wants its important information to be treated as a trade secret. Alternatively, the decision serves as a valuable reminder of what happens if an employer fails to implement appropriate protective measures. Continue reading

The Devil Is in The Details: Second Circuit Reverses Injunction For Lack of Specificity Required by Rule 65

rules-1752415_1280

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit serves as a timely reminder of the importance of complying with Rule 65’s requirement that injunctions describe the prohibited conduct “in reasonable detail.” Fail to comply and you could find yourself with an invalid injunction. Continue reading

Inevitable Disclosure Is No Substitute For Post-Employment Non-Competition Provision

Non-Compete, Nondisclosure, Trade Secrets, Illinois, Inevitable Disclosure

In reversing the trial court’s grant of a preliminary injunction, the Illinois Appellate Court in Archer Daniels Midland Company v. Sinele et al., (2019 IL App 4th 180714, decided February 1, 2019) reminds employers that the doctrine of inevitable discovery is not a foolproof substitute for enforceable post-employment restrictions on competition.  Continue reading