We’ve written about non-competes involving firework choreographers, dog groomers, dance instructors, recruiters, executives, and salespeople. The point is they run the gamut. Periodically we will cover some of the more interesting cases out there. Here’s what’s happening:
The Florida Tatoo Artist
In a case from last year, a Florida court enforced a non-compete agreement against a tattoo artists who was alleged to have a violated a non-compete agreement that included a 15 mile radius. The artist was alleged to have taken the customer list of his former employee and set up shop down the road. Would there have been a different outcome if the artist hadn’t taken the list? It’s a lot easier for judges to rule in favor of the ex-employee when they don’t take things with them.
Microsoft Strikes Again
A Washington state court judge issued a temporary injunction barring a former Microsoft employee from working for a competitor in the cloud computing business. The employee argued the scope of his work for Microsoft was international as opposed to his domestic oriented new job. The judge did not agree and the employee is barred from working for his new employer at lease through trial. Microsoft is aggressive when it comes to enforcing their non-competes and appears to have a lot of success. It also helps to enforce them in your backyard, King County, Washington.
IBM Non-Compete No Good
In this case a New York judge refused to enforce a non-compete agreement against a former IBM employee who was going to work for Hewlett Packard. The court held that IBM didn’t provide any trade secrets to the employee, other employees were not subject to similar type agreements, and there was testimony that the non-compete was merely a retention tool to keep employees from leaving.
If you’ve run across any cases of note please let us know.