March 2006 Archives

Employee That Learned Trade Secrets from Plaintiff Many Not Use Those Secrets at Competitor

March 26, 2006

Plaintiff sought to enjoin defendant, a past employee, from working for a competitor, alleging that the defendant was competing with plaintiff using trade secrets learned while working for plaintiff. Defendant claimed that he was coerced into signing the non-compete agreement, that the trade secrets were not really secrets and that he performed no special services for plaintiff that would serve as a basis for granting an injunction. The court found that plaintiff's threat to fire defendant if he did not sign the agreement was not coercion and that the complexities of the business coupled with defendant's advanced degrees were sufficient to find that plaintiff had a right to prevent defendant from unfairly competing by using critical trade secrets defendant learned while employed by plaintiff.