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Home > Practice Areas > Employment Law > Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets

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Proprietary information, intellectual property and trade secrets are often the life-blood of a company. In a rapidly evolving marketplace, the theft of confidential information or customers can destroy a company’s competitive advantage. The firm helps clients design agreements and programs to protect its valuable trade secrets, intellectual property, innovations, business relationships, and other confidential and proprietary information. Strategies may include implementing non-competition and non-disclosure agreements, invention assignment agreements, and electronic information retention and security policies.

In addition, the firm advises clients on appropriate non-competition and outside work clauses for employee handbooks, agreements, and offer letters to provide protection to company assets and information from the beginning of the employment relationship and when an employee leaves the company. This process involves developing post-employment restrictions for former employees that are both reasonable and effective in protecting the unique interests of the employer.

Finally, the firm has experience representing employers when the employment relationship ends and aggressive enforcement of company policies and agreements are necessary. We have worked with employers to enforce non-compete and non-disclosure agreements through litigation and negotiation.

Representative Experience:

Successfully litigated claims against former employee involving theft of confidential and proprietary information, including the misappropriation of company digital work product and a hard drive containing company records. The final agreement resulted in the return of all confidential data and a court order prohibiting the use of the employer’s information in the future.

The firm defended an individual client in a week-long jury trial before the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia, in a case alleging breach of fiduciary duty, conversion of confidential information and tortious interference with contractual relations. The plaintiff corporation alleged that the firm’s client had unlawfully recruited its former employees and sole customer to the benefit of a competitor. Facing potential exposure of $2 million if the plaintiff was awarded treble damages and attorneys’ fees under the Virginia conspiracy statute, the jury returned a verdict of only $30,000 against our client and did not find a conspiracy (which precluded the plaintiff from recovering its attorneys’ fees from our client).

 

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