Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

Asia: Post-employment covenants

Although often included in employment contracts, the enforceability of post-employment non-competition obligations can vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Asia, Jurisdiction: Australia, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information), Termination of employment

UK: Employee documents created using employer’s IT systems may not be privileged against the employer

Simpkin v The Berkeley Group Holdings plc highlights the potential benefits for employers of a clear and comprehensive IT policy, referred to in the employment contract and signed by an employee, which provides that emails and documents sent using the … Continue reading

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: UK, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

UK: Restrictive covenants – non-competes should not prevent minority shareholdings; non-solicits should usually only apply to individuals with whom the employee dealt

Employers should check that their template restrictive covenants prohibiting being directly or indirectly engaged or ‘concerned’ or ‘interested in’ competing businesses expressly carve out and permit minor shareholdings. The Court of Appeal has overruled a High Court decision in Egon … Continue reading

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Filed under Jurisdiction: UK, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

UK: Measures to protect confidential information from ex-employees

A High Court has ruled that, in the right circumstances, an employer may be able to obtain an order for the destruction of confidential information taken from it by departing employees and stored on the ex-employees' computers.  The order provided … Continue reading

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: UK, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

UK: Restrictive covenants – BIS call for evidence; EAT ruling confirms unreasonable restraints cannot be bought

As part of an initiative to develop a National Innovation Plan to help make Britain the most attractive place in Europe to start up new businesses, the government is to investigate employment rules that could be stifling small businesses and … Continue reading

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Filed under Jurisdiction: UK, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

EU developments: trade secrets and data protection

On 14 April the European Parliament voted to approve the new Trade Secrets Directive aimed at harmonising the definition and protection of trade secrets and undisclosed know-how across Europe. The Council is expected to approve the Directive this month and … Continue reading

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: Cross-border, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

Europe: Developments in EU laws on trade secrets and data protection

The European Parliament and EU Council have agreed the terms of a Trade Secrets Directive that aims to harmonise the definition and protection of trade secrets and undisclosed know-how across Europe. Once approved and adopted, the Directive could take effect … Continue reading

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: Cross-border, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

EU: Will the new Trade Secrets Directive create a unified approach across the EU?

The European Parliament and EU Council have agreed the terms of a Trade Secrets Directive that aims to harmonise the definition and protection of trade secrets and undisclosed know-how across Europe. Once approved and adopted, the Directive could take effect … Continue reading

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Cross-border, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)

UK: Anti-suit injunctions – Court of Appeal rules that EU jurisdiction rules should prevail over US exclusive jurisdiction clause

The Court of Appeal has overturned a controversial High Court ruling (summarised in our blog post here) concerning the enforcement of non-EU exclusive jurisdiction clauses which conflict with EU jurisdiction rules.

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Filed under International mobility (including secondments, migrant workers, territorial jurisdiction), Jurisdiction: UK, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information), Terms of employment contracts

US: SEC targets confidentiality agreements in first-ever whistleblower protection enforcement action

The Securities and Exchanges Commission has settled its first enforcement action against a company for “improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements”. SEC Rule 21F-17 prohibits companies from taking any action – including enforcing, or threatening to enforce, a confidentiality agreement … Continue reading

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Filed under Jurisdiction: The Americas, Protection of business interests (including restrictive covenants and confidential information)