Knowledgeable Trade Secret Misappropriation And Noncompete Agreements Representation

Claims alleging the misappropriation of trade secrets arise in a number of contexts, most commonly when employees leave to work for a competitor. These claims are generally brought under the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act (PUTSA) and various common law causes of action.

Although PUTSA preempts certain common law claims, claims for misappropriation, conversion and other common law claims may be asserted in certain circumstances. In 2016, Congress enacted the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which provided for a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. DTSA allows companies to pursue claims for trade secret misappropriation in federal court.

Attorney Michael J. Betts understands the complexities surrounding the misappropriation of trade secrets claims and the procedures to address these claims. In nearly all cases involving the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, plaintiffs request a preliminary injunction. Strict elements must be met to support a request for preliminary injunctive relief. These requests usually require highly expedited proceedings, requiring counsel to understand how to effectively investigate, discover and develop the facts of the case, and to be prepared to try the case, within a compressed period of time.

Restrictive Covenant And Noncompete Litigation

Pennsylvania courts regard restrictive covenants and noncompete agreements as restraints of trade. An employer seeking to enforce such a provision bears a heavy burden. Among other requirements, in order for a restrictive covenant or non-compete agreement to be enforceable, it must be necessary to protect a business interest. Protected information can include trade secrets, confidential information, unique or extraordinary skills, customer goodwill, and investments in an employee specialized training program.

Post-employment covenants that seek to give the employer an economic advantage by eliminating competition are generally not enforceable. Further requirements for enforceability relate to the standard of “reasonableness.” A court’s determination of a restrictive covenant’s reasonableness balances the employer’s need for protection with the hardship that the restriction will have on the former employee.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Case Options

To learn more about the employment law services provided by Michael J. Betts LLC, relating to trade secrets and restrictive covenant litigation, please call our firm at 412-935-7073. You may also contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Pittsburgh office. We can capably represent you through litigation, mediation or arbitration.