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Yes, California Employers, It Really Is Time to Update Your NDAs

The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau, Redwood City, CA. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor law, including counseling and litigation regarding trade secrets and unfair competition.

Now is a particularly good time for California employers to update and revise their agreements with employees respecting trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information (NDAs), based on several recent, noteworthy legal developments. Review your NDAs and make these three changes. Continue reading

Are Your Employees Inventing on the Job? Tips for Drafting Invention Assignment Agreements

brain_63285190Who owns an employee’s inventions? This is an issue that’s vitally important to many businesses, particularly those in the tech industry. Most companies are taking a proactive step by requiring employees to sign invention assignment agreements as a condition of their employment. Here are some tips for drafting these agreements for the employer’s maximum protection. Continue reading

Top 10 Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Developments

ThinkstockPhotos-497444296The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau, Redwood City, CA. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor law, including counseling and litigation regarding trade secrets and unfair competition.

There were several noteworthy developments in 2015 in the area of trade secrets and unfair competition. This post focuses on developments affecting California employers. Due to the unsettled nature of some of the law, this update includes citations to some significant federal district court decisions in 2015, so that California employers can understand and plan for the trends at the trial court level. Here are the Top 10 key developments and lessons from 2015. Continue reading

Stop Trade Secret Thieves Before They Leave

ThinkstockPhotos-482975110One of the most likely times to lose trade secret protection occurs when an employee leaves the company. If there are feelings of resentment, the employee may want to harm the employer, or the employee may mistakenly feel that he or she will be more valuable to a new employer by bringing such information. Regardless of reason or intention, companies need a trade secret protection plan in place to prevent trade secrets from leaving with their employees. Here are some tips for adding protection to the exiting process. Continue reading

Your Employees Are Probably Doing It, So Have a BYOD Policy

People today can (and do) work from anywhere—connected through the Internet, WiFi, and cloud-based platforms with a variety of mobile devices. This makes preventing confidential and proprietary business information from “walking out the door,” whether intentionally or not, a nightmare for employers. Having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy may help. Continue reading

Need to Protect Trade Secrets in Litigation? There’s a Privilege for That

Trade secrets are not necessarily outed in litigation. There’s a conditional privilege that protects owners of trade secrets from being forced to spill their secrets. Continue reading

Play Fair: Guidelines for New Employees Hired from a Competitor

505283113It’s common for customers or clients to want to stick with the person who has been handling their account even when that person moves to a different company. But this situation can create serious issues around trade secrets and unfair competition. So, whenever you hire someone from a competitor, give that new employee guidelines to follow—it will save everyone legal headaches. Continue reading

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