Just in late last week: Netflix counters the Fox lawsuit with a jab of its own – Netflix claims that the employment agreements that Fox utilizes and its practices concerning those term agreements run afoul of California law. Since neither former Fox employee was bound for more than 7 years under an employment agreement (and therefore California’s Seven Year Rule doesn’t apply), Netflix relies on Section 16600 (the California prohibition against non-competes) as its rationale for hiring Fox employees who are on contract. There may be some appeal to the straightforward application of Section 16600 in this context, but what would this do to employment contracts in California? How this novel theory plays out is worth watching – these are well-heeled litigants, so the appellate courts are not out of the question. More to come.

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