Senate to Vote on Federal Trade Secret Bill on April 4, 2016

senateAs I previously reported in this blog, the U.S. Senate is considering a bill that will create a uniform standard for trade secret misappropriation claims across the United States.  The bill, called the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, was most recently under review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The DTSA would add a private right of action for trade secret misappropriation into the existing Economic Espionage Act, with a variety of additional provisions that are explored in my prior post.

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Encore Webinar 4/1/16 – Cutting-Edge Developments in Restrictive Covenants and Other Legal Tools for Protecting Competitive Advantages

Did you miss Mark’s March 10, 2016 seminar entitled, “Cutting-Edge Developments in Restrictive Covenants and Other Legal Tools for Protecting Competitive Advantages,” presented as part of Morgan, Brown & Joy’s breakfast seminar series?  Due to Workplace-Webinar1demand and to accommodate our out-of-state clients and friends, Mark will be presenting this seminar again, on-line via webinar.  The webinar is free and will be held right at your desk, on your own computer screen, on Friday, April 1st from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT.  Please register for this webinar by clicking here.

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Mass. House Speaker Pushes for Compromise on Noncompete Reform Legislation

In a somewhat surprising shift from his prior position, Mass. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo today told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce that he supports implementing specific limitations on noncompete agreements.  This clear support for a compromise from House leadership may signal that this may finally be the year that legislative efforts to reform noncompete law in Massachusetts are realized. Continue reading

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Mark Quoted in the Boston Business Journal about EMC/Dell Merger

Mark was recently quoted in the Boston Business Journal about the impact of the EMC/Dell acquisition on EMC’s noncompete program.  The article, entitled EMC-Dell deal a wild card in renewed debate over noncompetes can be found here.

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Speculation about Noncompete Law Reform in Massachusetts Continues

Several bills designed to reform the law governing employers’ use of noncompete agreements in Massachusetts have been pending in the Massachusetts legislature for many months, with little news or activity to report.  As the reform efforts continue to percolate, speculation about the chances of reform continue as well.

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Upcoming Seminar – Cutting Edge Developments in Restrictive Covenant Law

On Thursday, March 10, 2016, Mark will be presenting a seminar entitled, “Cutting-Edge Developments in Restrictive Covenants and Other Legal Tools for Protecting Competitive Advantages,” as part of Morgan, Brown & Joy’s breakfast seminar series.  The seminar is free and will be held in MB&J’s training room, at 200 State Street, 11th Floor.  Registration is at 8am, and the seminar runs from 830am-10am.

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Mark presents Developments in the Law of Noncompetes and Other Post-Employment Restrictions

On Tuesday, September 10, 2015, Mark presented a seminar covering Developments in the Law of Noncompetes and Other Post-Employment Restrictions to the monthly meeting of the Greater Merrimack Valley chapter of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). Among the topics covered were:  review of statutory, common law, and company policy/practice protections available to employers; myths, truths and realities about noncompetes; best practices in the on-boarding process, during employment, and when employees exit; considering whether to litigate; cross-border litigation; legislative developments.

A copy of the presentation materials may be found here:  GMVHRA noncompete 9-10-15

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New Federal Private Right of Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation?

Trade secrets are often a company’s most valuable asset. Historically, companies seeking to protect their trade secrets in court have needed to rely on a combination of state law remedies, including various versions of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“U_1061885TSA”), as well as common law and local statutory remedies. The UTSA has been passed in some form and adopted in 48 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — not in Massachusetts and New York.

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (“EEA”) is a federal law that prohibits trade secret misappropriation, but it only provides criminal penalties. In practical terms, this means the only way to seek relief under the EEA is to convince federal prosecutors to pursue your case on behalf of the government, which is no easy task. Currently, there is no federal private right of action for trade secret misappropriation.

All of that may change soon, as a bi-partisan group of legislators in Congress introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (“DTSA”) on July 29, 2015. Continue reading

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Minimizing Risks Associated with Employee Mobility

As any employment lawyer knows, employees are constantly moving in and out of jobs. Our clients hire and fire employees. Employees quit to pursue better opportunities. Employees of all levels move between competitors. Sometimes employment lawyers are involved in these moves, but more often they are not.

All of these common occurrences present significant areas of risk to the former employer, the employee, and in some cases the new employer. Ideally, preparation for the on-boarding or departure of key employees begins long before they move. As lawyers advising the employers or employees in these situations, there are many best practices we can and should encourage to avoid common mistakes, to minimize risk, and prevent unnecessary litigation. Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, E-Mail Issues, Electronically Stored Information, Employee Mobility, Firing, Hiring, IT Systems, Policies, Social Media | Leave a comment

Last Ditch Efforts of Patrick Administration to Carry-over Noncompete Law Reform to Baker Administration

As perhaps a last ditch effort to push the Patrick Administration’s noncompete law reform OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAagenda, Gregory Bialecki (secretary of housing and economic development under Gov. Patrick) met in December 2014 with a group of investors and entrepreneurs to discuss how to revive noncompete law reform efforts under the next Governor. See a recent BetaBoston blog post discussing this meeting.

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