Non-Compete & Trade Secrets
Critical assets of many businesses include its trade secrets, know-how, technology, customer base and other proprietary information. In these times of increasing employee mobility, electronically stored information, smart phones and non-traditional workforces, employee defection to a competitor can be devastating unless businesses plan ahead and adopt and enforce policies and procedures to protect these important assets.
At MacDonald Illig, our lawyers counsel businesses in matters of employee defection and strategies to protect the trade secrets and confidential information which give our clients their competitive advantage. Our services begin with counseling, planning, drafting and implementing employment agreements, policies and procedures designed to protect against misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information, including crafting enforceable confidentiality, non‑disclosure, non-compete, non‑solicitation and non-hiring agreements, as well as internal policies and procedures controlling access to and use of confidential information. We counsel businesses concerning precautionary measures to take in anticipation of a planned or unplanned employee departure, as well as the unique risks associated with hiring an employee subject to a post‑employment restrictive covenant.
Even with the most stringent safeguards in place, companies may be required to enforce contractual agreements, fiduciary duties and common law and statutory rights to ensure the protection of critical intellectual property and proprietary information. MacDonald Illig's employment litigation team is experienced in assisting businesses to detect employee theft of information utilizing established relationships with forensic investigative firms expert in the collection and forensic examination of electronically stored information. Our litigators routinely seek (or defend against) injunctive and monetary relief in state and federal court to obtain the return of stolen data, enforce restrictive covenants, non-solicitation agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements and pursue or defend against breach of contract, unfair competition and misappropriation of proprietary information claims arising under state and federal common law and state and federal statutes, including the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Stored Communications Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Defend Trade Secrets Act.