Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SPRING 2020, Volume 45, Number 1

Case Comments

Lowell Anderson

Stetina Brunda Garred & Brucker


"Business and Professions Code section 16600 has consistently been interpreted as invalidating any employment agreement that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s ability to compete with an employer after his or her employment ends. [Citation omitted.] However, the statute does not affect limitations on an employee’s conduct or duties while employed." Two employees promised they would not compete with their employer when they opened and operated a business, but later did compete and concealed the competition. When sued for breaching the promise, a jury found the employees breached a duty of disclosure and were liable for fraud. The promise was not voided by § 16600 and findings of fraud and interference with prospective business advantage were affirmed. Techno Lite, Inc. v. EMCOD, LLC, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 41, 2020 WL 289084 (Cal. 2d Dist. Ct. App. 2020).

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