In an increasingly competitive global market, you must protect your business’s intellectual property (IP), trade secrets, and confidential information. Any organization that fails to take proactive and reactive measures could lose significant goodwill and profitability.
Regardless of how well your company’s policies, procedures, or agreements protect you, you will need experienced legal help if your intellectual capital is stolen. As a basic form of intellectual property protection, trade secrets were given new attention in 2016 following the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.
Increasingly, we have seen lawsuits brought against non-compete and trade secrets in federal, state, and arbitration courts. Having Sul Lee Law Firm PLLC lawyers handle your non-compete and trade secret litigation needs will help you understand what to expect when hiring a competitor’s employees or preventing your employees from leaving and exposing all your business trade secrets.
If you have additional questions or want to start working with us, call today to schedule a consultation.
How Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Work
Trade secrets carry a competitive advantage, but despite their economic benefits, they are not disclosed to everyone for fear of creating competitive products. But a company must reveal trade secrets and sensitive business information to key employees and other companies to conduct its business.
A departing employee may use your secret to open a competing business or to work for a rival who uses your secret to their advantage. Many companies use a non-compete and non-disclosure agreement to protect their trade secrets and businesses from unfair competition.
Even though most disputes involving non-competes and trade secrets occur between employers and employees, these issues can also arise between businesses.
As an employer, you might be concerned about whether your non-competition and non-solicitation agreements will be upheld in court and whether your trade secrets will be protected. Often, you are faced with the following:
- High-stakes and fast-moving lawsuits with unique challenges
- Litigation intensity
- Legal fees
- Business disruptions
How Sul Lee Can Help With Non-Competes and Trade Secrets
The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), passed in 2016, has significantly increased companies using trade secret law to protect their intellectual property. Our trade secrets and non-compete attorneys advise you to avoid the misappropriation of trade secrets and aggressively litigate violations when they occur.
To prevent trade secret theft and misappropriation, we walk you through how to make your property more secure, including:
- Conduct intellectual property and trade secret audits.
- Draft non-disclosure, non-compete, and confidentiality agreements.
- Recommend innovative strategies to improve weak or nonexistent protective measures and negotiate more effective agreements.
- Help protect, preserve, and recover property from former employees or competitors.
- Give balanced and practical solutions through our experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants.
- Help develop new employment and separation policies and guide on incorporating legal developments into new agreements.
Can I Enforce My Texas Non-Compete and Trade Secret Agreement?
Yes, you can. But there is rarely a clear-cut answer; in most cases, a case-by-case analysis is required. Many employers require applicants or employees to sign agreements to prevent employees from engaging in competitive activities after termination.
But in using these devices, it is important to be reasonable and prudent. In all cases, courts have recognized that restrictive covenants impede trade and threaten public policy. In Texas, non-competition agreements are closely scrutinized, and former employers cannot prevent or limit departing employees’ activities.
Upon reviewing the non-compete agreement, the court must determine whether it is reasonable.
Most non-compete agreements over two years risk violating the reasonableness rule. Besides, a court may see too many restrictions on an employee as punishment for leaving.
Most businesses benefit from a reasonable non-compete agreement specific to a city or state and a single company. But a business lawyer can assist you if any of these limitations are extremely restrictive or if you want to explore other options.
Under Texas law, a non-compete covenant can only be enforced:
- As part of an otherwise enforceable contract
- If time limitations are reasonable
- By geographical region
- By activity scope
Despite Texas public policy favoring the enforcement of non-compete agreements, some courts will modify or refuse to enforce restrictive covenants entirely. That’s why you need a Dallas business litigation lawyer.
Sul Lee’s Non-Compete and Trade Litigation Services
No matter how large or small the company is, the stakes can be high for all involved, and emotions run high because distrust and anger are present. There is often tension between employees’ opportunity to develop their careers and businesses’ freedom to compete for customers, along with companies’ right to protect their methods, processes, customer information, and reputations.
The success of any case depends on an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney. Defending and prosecuting trade secrets or other related claims is one of the areas of expertise for the trade secret litigation team at Sul Lee Law Firm PLLC.
Our attorneys have successfully defended and prosecuted cases involving millions of dollars in alleged damages related to trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and “corporate raiding.” Having walked this road before, our team knows the terrain well.
Local Dallas business owners trust our experienced Dallas commercial attorneys to protect their trade secrets and non-compete interests. Our firm helps international organizations establish non-compete agreements and protect trade secrets for their operations in the US.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our team. Reach us today!
The Sul Lee Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Dallas and the rest of Texas with non-compete and trade secret agreements. We have helped clients in Plano, Richardson, Fort Worth, Irving, Frisco, Carrollton, Taylor, Garland County, and Collin County protect their intellectual property and successfully navigate the complex legal systems relating to non-compete and trade secrets.