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New York Court Rules in Favor of Employee in Non-Agreement Case


Posted on Jan 01, 2016

A recent court case ruled in favor of Giovanni Visentin after International Business Machines Corp (IBM) filed suit when Visentin informed them he was moving to computing rival Hewlett-Packard (HP). IBM sued with the idea that they still had his intellectual property, which couldn’t be moved to one of its strongest competitors.

The New York non-compete agreement law is put in place to protect from employee poaching and to ensure that a company’s secrets are protected after employees move to another business in the same field. When legal and enforceable, they are important tools to ensure a company’s investments and progress in the field aren’t immediately taken to be used against them. But most states, including New York, often rule against the non-agreement clause because they feel it hinders the competitive nature of American businesses. It is often ruled that an employee, such as Visentin, has the right to take his knowledge of the field, his talents, and his experience back into the working world.

In the Southern District of New York District Court, Judge Loretta Preska ruled against the request from IBM to bar Visentin from working for Hewlett-Packard for one year after resignation from IBM. The ruling stated that IBM had not proven that Visentin’s employment at HP would damage its business by disseminating company secrets or specific trade information. Judge Preska noted that IBM has employees with more knowledge of trade secrets and are not bound by non-compete agreements. One of IBM’s employees actually testified that the non-agreement clauses are put in place more to retain employees than to protect trade secrets. It was with these findings that Visentin was allowed to pursue a new career with Hewlett-Packard, and shouldn’t be trapped with an unreasonable non-compete agreement.

If you think you’re trapped in a non-compete agreement, don’t. Before you call it quits and pass up the opportunity of a lifetime, contact a New York non-compete agreement lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper. We can help you break the reins of your employer and help you regain control of your life.

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