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 unclean hands defense “allows a court to decline to grant equitable relief, such as an injunction, to a party whose conduct in connection with the same matter or transaction has been unconscientious, unjust, or marked by a want of good faith, or one who has violated the principles of equity and righteous dealing.”
In Texas, covenants limiting employees’ professional mobility are unlawful restraints on trade unless they fall within the exception created by the Covenants not to Compete Act.
Enforcing non-compete agreements is as much of a business decision as it is a legal one. Having a non-compete agreement that is legally enforceable, allows you to decide whether it makes business sense to enforce it against a particular employee. Without a legally-enforceable non-compete agreement, however, the business reasons may not even matter.
This year, California, Illinois and Nevada amended their non-compete statutes to help protect employees’ right to change employers. Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington considered various amendments, but were unsuccessful in signing them into law, which means they will probably try again in 2018.
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.
While helping hundreds of companies to enforce their non-compete agreements and advising many employees on how to get out of them, I noticed that most companies make the same mistakes when it comes to drafting and enforcing their non-compete agreements. Here are the top ten.
While an arbitration may generally provide a faster, cheaper, and more confidential route for resolving a noncompete dispute than litigation, it can be an inferior process when it comes to obtaining a temporary injunction in a situation where time is of the essence.
In Texas, non-compete agreements are enforceable if they meet certain requirements and contain reasonable restrictions on the term, geographic scope and the scope of the restrained activities.