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Is it time to think about protecting your company’s assets?

Published by on February 4, 2008

Inc.com has an article on non-compete agreements in its February 2008 issue entitled “Protecting Company Secrets:  More Business Owners Are Forcing Their New Hires To Sign Noncompetes.  Should You?”  The article prompts me to ask the question:  is it time to think about protecting your company’s assets? Although some lawyers have very defined opinions against noncompete […]

Inc.com has an article on non-compete agreements in its February 2008 issue entitled “Protecting Company Secrets:  More Business Owners Are Forcing Their New Hires To Sign Noncompetes.  Should You?”  The article prompts me to ask the question:  is it time to think about protecting your company’s assets?

Although some lawyers have very defined opinions against noncompete agreements, properly drafted noncompete agreements for key employees that are narrowly tailored to protect a company’s legitimate business interests are an important part of a company’s overall plan to protect its assets.  In addition to noncompete agreements, employers may want to consider nonsolicitation clauses or agreements to prevent employees from soliciting customers and/or employees to leave the company.  Employers should also implement confidentiality agreements and policies to protect intellectual property and trade secrets.  Information security policies should also be considered as part of an asset protection plan.  A periodic review of these issues can be used to show that the company takes protection of its trade secrets seriously.

Attempts by the General Assembly in Virginia to codify the rules on noncompetes in 2007 died in committee (discussed here).  Given the decisions by the Virginia Supreme Court in recent years, companies should consult with labor counsel familiar with the law when drafting noncompete agreements for use specifically in Virginia.  The Inc.com article sidebar includes a “rough guide” to the legal landscape, which differs from state-to-state.

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