Intellectual information is a valuable commodity in today's marketplace. Employers are becoming more and more exposed to proprietary processes and information that is essential to the success of a company but could also be detrimental to the company's position in the marketplace if used by a competitor.
To avoid having former employees take advantage of the things they learned while in your employ, you need to have an airtight non-compete clause in place for each individual on your payroll.
Define your trade secrets.
Trade secrets are protected under non-compete agreements. In order to ensure that your employees will not be able to take your company's proprietary information elsewhere after leaving your employ, you need to clearly define your trade secrets in the non-compete agreement.
Having the help of an experienced business litigation lawyer can be useful during the definition phase. An attorney will know how to draft the language of your non-compete agreement so that the agreement offers maximum protection while still remaining enforceable in a court of law.
Ensure that there is a fair exchange.
In order for a court to uphold the provisions in a non-compete clause, there typically must be some type of fair exchange involved.
The easiest way to ensure you are in compliance with this regulation is to have employees sign a non-compete agreement on the day they are hired. The court will view the non-compete agreement as a part of the employment contract between you and your workers, and the non-compete will remain valid.
If you ask employees to sign a non-compete after they have been working for you for a period of time, your agreement may not be deemed enforceable by the court.
Do not leave room for interpretation.
A non-compete agreement is essentially a contract between you and your employees. Contracts need to be very clear and concise when drafted. Any ambiguous language included in a contract can create an opening for one of the parties to dispute the limitations set forth in the contract.
An experienced business litigation attorney will be able to draft your non-compete agreements using language that leaves no room for interpretation. This ensures that your non-compete agreement will accomplish its purpose in protecting your company's intellectual information from being distributed to competitors by a disgruntled employee.
Non-compete agreements play a useful role in today's business landscape. Partner with a reputable business litigation attorney to help you draft non-compete agreements that are fair and enforceable.
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