Companies that derive a substantial portion of their value from customer relationships or intellectual property often find themselves vulnerable when departing employees violate non-compete or non-disclosure agreements or when disgruntled suppliers or other business partners threaten to misuse or disclose trade secrets. Immediate and effective action is crucial for protecting these important company assets. We provide both.
Schiff Hardin's team is composed of lawyers from our Litigation, Intellectual Property and Labor and Employment Groups. This team has unsurpassed and nationally recognized experience in the substantive law that applies to trade secrets and non-compete agreements, and we are well versed in the state and federal procedural rules governing the emergency hearings that so often determine the outcome of disputes regarding trade secrets and non-compete agreements.
Indeed, through our trial and appellate work, we have created and shaped the law of trade secrets, including development of the doctrine of “inevitable disclosure” of trade secrets. In PepsiCo, Inc. v. Redmond and Quaker Oats Co., 54 F. 3d. 1262 (7th Cir. 1995), we alerted the court to the danger that our client’s trade secrets would inevitably be used by the defendant, a recently departed marketing executive who had joined the competition, and we obtained an injunction against that former executive and his new employer — despite the absence of a non-compete.
Our experience in the area of trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality helps clients both inside and outside of the courtroom. In addition to our litigation victories, we help our clients implement effective non-compete, non-disclosure and anti-raiding agreements, and we assist our clients to address the confidentiality issues that arise in the workplace as a result of today’s global marketplace and in the increasingly computerized office. Familiarity with the “virtual office” is crucial to designing and implementing an effective information protection program, and our expertise in computer forensics and electronic discovery helps us to prevail in disputes regarding trade secrets misappropriation.