Trade Secrets, Restrictive Covenants, and Computer Abuse

Recent News:

Rebalancing IP Protection and Employee Mobility? [Daily Business Review]

Samuel Lewis authored an article discussing the complexities and challenges of using noncompetition agreements in intellectual property law to protect a company's trade secrets.

More

In this era of intense competition, increased employee mobility and electronic information, theft of trade secrets, computer abuse, and employee raiding cases are becoming ever more prevalent and increasingly difficult to prevent. Additionally, the number of new federal and state statutes relating to restrictive covenants, trade secrets, computer abuse, and theft of electronic information, and the interaction of potentially conflicting state laws, increases the complexity of these matters for companies that do business in multiple jurisdictions. Add to this mix the Federal Trade Commission's Final Rule invalidating most noncompete agreements and the landscape is thornier than ever. Companies now face multi-dimensional problems involving the interaction of employment law, intellectual property law, computer law, cybersecurity law, insurance law, privacy law, and having to address those issues in multiple jurisdictions at both the state and federal levels — sometimes simultaneously.

Cozen O’Connor’s team of lawyers across the country are ready to assist national and multinational corporations, midsize businesses, and startups facing unfair competition matters. Our practice blends skilled attorneys from our labor and employment, intellectual property, and commercial litigation practices. Collectively, these attorneys have implemented and litigated nationwide restrictive covenants, invention assignment agreements, and confidentiality agreements. We have handled hundreds of injunction proceedings relating to theft of trade secrets, theft of computer data, restrictive covenants, and breach of employee loyalty in almost every state and court in the nation. Should a case proceed to trial, Cozen O’Connor attorneys have extensive first-chair jury-trial experience in large multi-jurisdictional cases involving restrictive covenants, theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, computer fraud and abuse, and duty of loyalty claims. We have successfully obtained and defeated emergency injunctions, won multimillion-dollar verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs, achieved full exoneration on behalf of defendants, and obtained fee awards on behalf of both, where possible.

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Experience

Publications

FTC Issues Final Rule Banning Employee Non-Compete Agreements [Alert]

April 25, 2024

The FTC has issued a Final Rule banning all new noncompete agreements for workers, including senior executives, effective 120 days after publication in the Federal Register.

New Law in NY Prohibits Certain Employee Invention Assignment Agreements [Alert]

October 16, 2023

Michael Schmidt discusses the new law that will impact long-held policies and practices and require employers to review their policies and form agreements.

New York Assembly Passes Bill to Ban Non-Competes [Alert]

June 22, 2023

On June 20, 2023, the New York State Assembly passed S3100A (Ryan)/A1278B (Joyner) on non-compete agreements and certain restrictive covenants.

Non-Competes: The NLRB Has Entered The Chat [Alert]

June 09, 2023

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a memorandum that could make it more difficult for employers to enforce non-compete agreements.

A Third Party in New Jersey May be Unable to Avoid Fee Awards Under an Exception to the American Rule [Alert]

May 23, 2023

The New Jersey Appellate Court ruled that, under an exception to the American Rule, a third party can be liable for attorneys’ fees in certain situations.

What Minnesota’s Imminent Ban on Non-Competes Means for Employers [Alert]

May 18, 2023

Minnesota’s employment landscape is on the brink of significant transformation as proposed legislation banning almost all non-compete agreements progresses.

Events & Seminars

Upcoming Events

Everything Employers Should Know About the FTC Rule Banning Noncompetes and New DOL Overtime Rule

June 27, 2024 - Webinar

David Barron, Susan Eisenberg, Aaron Holt, Cassandra Jacobsen, and Walter Stella will present “Everything Employers Should Know About the FTC Rule Banning Noncompetes and New DOL Overtime Rule.”

Past Events

Health Law 2024

December 05, 2023 - Philadelphia, PA

Exploring the Contours of What is a Trade Secret

December 09, 2022 - Miami, FL

Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants

October 11, 2022 - Las Vegas, NV

To patent or to keep secret

May 24, 2022 - New York, NY

In The News

Rebalancing IP Protection and Employee Mobility? [Daily Business Review]

May 01, 2024

Samuel Lewis authored an article discussing the complexities and challenges of using noncompetition agreements in intellectual property law to protect a company's trade secrets.

FTC's Non-Compete Ban Likely to Face SCOTUS Challenge, Say Lawyers

April 24, 2024

James Gale was quoted in a World IP Review article discussing the potential for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) rule banning noncompetes.

Best Lawyers Honors More Than 200 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys to its Best Lawyers in America 2024 Edition

August 17, 2023

Best Lawyers selected 232 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s U.S. offices for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Your Non-compete Might Be Illegal: NLRB Turns Up Heat for Rank-and-File Workers

June 16, 2023

Michael Schmidt was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal discussing the National Labor Relations Board's memo warning that employment noncompete clauses for nonmanagerial employers are illegal.

Is a noncompete clause holding you back? The law may be changing

March 12, 2023

Michael Schmidt was quoted in the New York Post discussing the Federal Trade Commission's proposed rule which would ban employers from using noncompete agreements.

The public takes aim at "un-American" noncompetes

January 20, 2023

Michael Schmidt spoke with Axios about the Federal Trade Commission's proposed rule banning employers from using noncompete agreements.

‘I hate this rule’: the FTC's controversial non-competes ban

January 17, 2023

Jim Gale spoke with World Intellectual Property Review to discuss the Federal Trade Commission's proposed rule banning noncompete agreements and its impact on trade secrets.

What the proposed ban on noncompete clauses means for you

January 11, 2023

Michael Schmidt was quoted in Automobil News discussing the FTC's proposed ban on noncompete clauses.

Noncompete Ban Tees Up 1st Test Of FTC's Rule Powers

January 05, 2023

Michael Schmidt was quoted in Law360 discussing the Federal Trade Commission's new proposal to ban all noncompete agreements employers impose on their workers.

'So Many More People Calling Themselves IP Lawyers,' Creating Challenge for Attorneys in This Practice Area

July 19, 2021

In an interview with the Daily Business Review, Jim Gale discussed what keeps him awake about his practice, what attracted him to intellectual property law, how trade secret business held steady through the pandemic, if the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in an increase in trade secret litigation, and what he sees as a threat.

New Fla. Trade Secrets Law Seen As Too Easy To Abuse

June 11, 2021

James Gale was quoted in Law360 discussing how attorneys fear a new Florida trade secrets law that aims to target China and other foreign agents looking to steal intellectual property casts too wide a net and could catch employees in run-of-the-mill trade secrets disputes.

How To Protect Trade Secrets During The Pandemic

May 01, 2020

James Gale was quoted in Law360 discussing the risks of protecting trade secrets now that employees are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trade Secrets: New Filings Increase

April 20, 2020

James Gale was quoted in Law 360 discussing the rise of trade secret cases in federal court since 2016.

Contacts

James A. Gale

Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Litigation

jgale@cozen.com

(305) 358-1991

Craig Schloss

Member

cschloss@cozen.com

(619) 685-1772

People

Awards

Best Lawyers Honors More Than 200 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys to its Best Lawyers in America 2024 Edition

August 17, 2023

Best Lawyers selected 232 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s U.S. offices for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Related Practice Areas

Upcoming Event:

Everything Employers Should Know About the FTC Rule Banning Noncompetes and New DOL Overtime Rule

Webinar 06/27/2024

David Barron, Susan Eisenberg, Aaron Holt, Cassandra Jacobsen, and Walter Stella will present “Everything Employers Should Know About the FTC Rule Banning Noncompetes and New DOL Overtime Rule.”

Event Details

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