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Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard has written 97 posts for the non-compete blog

Another Frivolous Trade Secret Case: Court Finds Bad Faith in Cypress v. Maxim

Cypress Semiconductor Corporation and Maxim Integrated Products are two big Silicon Valley tech companies, both with an interest in touchscreen technologies. In February 2011, Maxim engaged a recruiter named Zion Mushel to help the company fill some positions with employees who had experience with touchscreen. Mushel solicited several such Cypress employees, some of whom Maxim … Continue reading

Physician Non-Compete Agreements and Antitrust

Antitrust claims based on employee non-compete agreements generally fail because the plaintiff cannot establish antitrust standing. In the Eleventh Circuit, the test for antitrust standing requires the plaintiff show (1) antitrust injury and (2) that he or she is an efficient enforcer of the antitrust laws. The first prong – antitrust injury – is satisfied … Continue reading

Non-Compete Nonsense: Louisiana Enforces Non-Competes Against Cardiologists (but not Car Dealers)

A recent case out of the Louisiana Court of Appeal reminds us that some states will enforce physician non-compete agreements, even in the absence of a clear protectable interest and even where such enforcement threatens harm to the public.  But the case does more than that: It forces us to take a hard look at … Continue reading

Brokers Switching Firms: The Protocol and Recent Developments

In August 2004, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and UBS entered a pact not to sue one another over client relationships in their wealth management businesses. This pact was known in the industry as the Protocol for Broker Recruiting or simply the Protocol. Under the Protocol, brokerages essentially agreed that individual brokers could move between firms and … Continue reading

MDFL Dismisses Auto Repair Antitrust Claims, Eviscerates Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

In 2014, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated a series of antitrust actions and transferred them to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The Middle District of Florida now presides over the multidistrict litigation entitled In re Auto Body Shop Antitrust Litigation, which includes cases originally filed in fifteen … Continue reading

Missouri Court Refuses to Enforce Non-Compete in Staffing Agency Fight Between Kforce and Beacon Hill

A recent case out of the Eastern District of Missouri provides a perfect example of what judges should do when evaluating non-compete agreements: That is to say that judges should conduct a thoughtful analysis that accounts for the realities of the marketplace. Far too often, I find that enforcement of non-compete agreements involves dogmatic references … Continue reading

Three Nike Employees Perpetrate Massive Theft of Trade Secrets then Bolt for Adidas

Nike has sued three former employees who left to work for Adidas. The company is suing for everything imaginable: Breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, fraud, conspiracy and more. In a fifty page Complaint, the athletic apparel giant lays out a host of fairly shocking allegations against a team of three designers who launched … Continue reading

Unilever Gets Egg On Its Face: Maker of Hellmann’s Sues Upstart Hampton Creek for False Advertising

Unilever, the maker of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court against Hampton Creek foods over a competing product called Just Mayo. As many folks know, Hampton Creek is a food start-up focused on making plant-based alternatives to everyday foods. So far, they have launched two products: Just Mayo and Just … Continue reading

Texas Court Refuses to Apply Texas Choice of Law in Non-Compete Fight Involving Texas Bank

A recurrent theme in non-compete litigation is the overriding importance of choice-of-law. The latest example comes to us from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and pits a Texas choice-of-law provision against Oklahoma public policy. Let’s take a look: Sometime in early 2013, Tulsa, Oklahoma based F&M Bank began talks … Continue reading

Merger Discussions & Non-Compete Agreements: A Recent Case from the EDNY

A recent case out of the Eastern District of New York raises interesting questions about the use of non-compete agreements in connection with merger talks. Let’s take a look: Calico Cottage, Inc. is a New York company engaged in the wholesale fudge business. That’s right. Calico sells both the ingredients needed to make fudge, fudge … Continue reading

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