Having flipped the calendar over to a new year, here’s a look back at some of the developments in trade secrets and restrictive covenants that shaped the law in 2016. Some major developments came not from the courts, but from the legislative and executive branches—both federal and state.
Over the last few years, ownership of LinkedIn contacts has become a continuing source of disputes. If employees decide, or are even encouraged, to connect with an employer’s customers on LinkedIn, must they “unlink” with those contacts when they leave the company? According to a California federal court, an employee’s retention of those contacts “might” be considered misappropriation of the employer’s trade secrets.