Tag Archives: non-compete

New York Appellate Court Refuses to Recognize Oral Extension of Two-Year Non-Compete Clause

A December 30, 2010 decision of New York’s Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in James V. Aquavella, M.D., P.C. v. Viola, should be noted by legal practitioners dealing with issues of enforceability of non-competition agreements.

The plaintiffs — an ophthalmologist named James V. Aquavella, M.D. and his professional corporation — sued Ralph S. Viola, M.D., an employee who in 2002 resigned and opened a competing practice within 300 yards of the plaintiffs’ practice. Plaintiffs claimed breach of a non-compete provision that, they argued, barred Viola from competing with plaintiffs for two years.

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DOJ Pursues Antitrust Claims Against Companies That Agree With Competitors Not to Recruit One Another’s Employees

In an article published in yesterday’s New York Law Journal (December 22, 2010, New York Law Journal, p.4 (col. 4), Nonhire Agreements as Antitrust Violations), we discuss a complaint filed in September 2010 by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) against Adobe Systems, Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corporation, Intuit, Inc., and Pixar, which alleges that those companies entered into various bilateral agreements in which they agreed not to actively solicit each other’s highly skilled technical employees, and that those agreements violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. Calling such agreements “facially anticompetitive,” the DOJ alleged that such concerted behavior both reduced the companies’ ability to compete for employees and disrupted the normal price-setting mechanisms that apply in the labor arena. At the same time that it filed the Complaint, the DOJ filed a proposed Final Judgment, Stipulation and Competitive Impact Statement, effectively announcing the settlement of its claims, by which the defendant companies would agree to refrain from entering into similar agreements in the future.

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Update: Former Paint Company Technical Director Sentenced To 15 Months In Federal Prison For Trade Secret Theft

Last September, we wrote about David Yen Lee, a former Technical Director for a painting and coating company who pled guilty to downloading trade secrets from a secure computer system and transferring them to external thumb drives with the intention of using the trade secrets for the benefit of another.

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