Tag Archives: federal trade secret

Over 50 percent of employees admit stealing company information when they leave for a new job. It’s this “insider threat” that keeps us up at night. To help combat it, we have updated and reissued our training, Protecting Trade Secrets While Working From Home, with improved audio and additional substance.
Once again, we have resounding unanimity on the issues and recommendations to the FTC and DOJ, as they consider whether to regulate (and if so, how) noncompetes, nondisclosure agreements, and other restrictive covenants. 70 lawyers who practice extensively in the area of trade secret and restrictive covenant law agree: federal regulation is likely inappropriate, definitely premature, and, in any event, should be limited.
Contracts containing restrictive covenants (noncompetes, nonsolicitation agreements, and the like) have been the province of state regulation for over 200 years. However, starting in 2015, the federal government has been stepping into the breach through proposed legislation (most recently two bills to ban all employee noncompetes and one to amend the FLSA to ban noncompetes for nonexempt workers), FTC review (starting with a workshop in January 2020), and an Executive Order (on July 9, 2021) “encouraging” the FTC to “curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses . . . .” While that’s not news, what is news is that earlier this week (September 14, 2021), the FTC issued a public statement that — if it is as broad as it appears — seems to presume that the FTC has authority to regulate these types of contracts.
Protecting trade secrets, confidential business information, goodwill, and any other recognized legitimate business interests does not happen by accident. Companies need to plan. And, when one of the key tools is taken away (i.e., noncompetes), they need to look more closely at the remaining options to ensure they have the protections they need and that fit their circumstances. We discuss them in this post.
As regular readers of this blog know, I focus on providing content, and don’t often suggest programs to attend. However, it just so happens that over the course of the next week, there are three programs that all provide some helpful insights, each in a different way. Take a look.
With the continuing unfolding of the COVID19 pandemic, I remain particularly focused on identifying resources that I hope will be helpful to people while they try to cope with the new reality (hence t...