In Seyfarth’s fifth installment of its 2015 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys focused on recent legal developments in California trade secret and non-compete law and how it is similar to and diverse from other jurisdictions, including: a discussion of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the interplay between trade secret law and Business and Professions Code Section 16600, which codifies California’s general prohibition of employee non-compete agreements, and recent case developments regarding non-compete agreements and trade secret investigations. The panel discussed how these latest developments impact counseling, litigation and deals involving California companies.
As a conclusion to this well-received webinar, we compiled a list of key takeaway points, which are listed below.
- Broad “no re-hire” provisions in settlement agreements may, under certain circumstances, constitute unlawful restraints of trade under California law, as reflected in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group (9th Cir. April 8, 2015).
- Alone, voluntary dismissal of a trade secret claim is not a safe harbor to liability for attorneys’ fees if the claim otherwise meets the criteria for having been brought or maintained in bad faith.
- The preemptive scope of California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act is very broad. As a result, tort or conversion claims that might be viable in other states may be preempted when pleaded in California with a trade secret claim, provided independent unlawful acts are not alleged.