Many small businesses use Google, Microsoft 360, Dropbox or some other similar systems to maintain and manage company records. All of those systems allow the administrator to (1) set restrictions on which employees can access which information within the company; (2) track what the employees do with that information; (3) set restrictions on whether the employees can print, download, copy or share the information with other employees or people outside the company; (4) periodically change passwords to access the system; and (5) many other features that can help business owners prevent their information being shared outside the company.
Few employees realize that when they take their employers’ trade secrets with them prior to leaving their job they may be exposing themselves to criminal liability under the Economic Espionage Act, which makes it a crime to steal trade secrets when (1) the information relates to a product in interstate or foreign commerce (which is virtually any product now days) or (2) the intended beneficiary is a foreign power.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act prohibits companies from claiming tax deduction for confidential settlements paid for sexual harassment and abuse and the related lawyer’s fees.
Texas courts have issued several interesting opinions in 2017 regarding Texas non-compete law, explaining and defining when the Texas Covenants not to Compete Act applies and clarifying procedural mechanisms and remedies in non-compete disputes.
The Fifth Circuit recently considered whether the federal copyright and patent laws preempt (trump) Texas common law claim of unfair competition by misappropriation.
A lot of times a company rushes to court asking the judge to stop a former employee or his new employer from using the company’s confidential information or soliciting its customers based on the agreements that the former employee had signed with the company.
Before pleading a Texas Theft Liability Act claim against an employee for stealing the company’s data, information, documents, or other property, the company should make sure that there is at least some evidence of the employee’s intent to deprive the company of its property.
In my practice, I see this scenario all the time: an employee leaves to work for a competitor, the employer realizes that its non-disclosure (NDA) or non-compete agreement was inadequate to protect it from what just happened, so the company rolls out a new…
Before filing a trade secrets case or in the early stages of such case, a company bringing a lawsuit should always consider the following questions: (1) what damages did we suffer? (2) how do we calculate such damages? (3) how do we prove the damages in court?
Non-Disclosure Agreements with employees are useful only if employees understand them and know the consequences of breaching them.
Employees take their employers’ trade secrets all the time. It’s a fact of life. No matter what systems an employer has in place, sooner or later a key employee will depart and take some trade secret information, data, or documents with them. Most employees…
Whether a new business is preparing to hire its first employee or is revisiting its already-existing hiring procedures, making sure that the on-boarding process is done correctly and consistently will result in significant long-term benefits in terms of reducing stress associated with hiring new…