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Noncompetes are one of the best tools employers have to prevent the loss of valuable business. While employers use noncompetes to protect themselves, a recent Ohio case reminds them to plan for the future and draft noncompetes that also apply to a successor company in the event of a merger or other change. In Acordia of Ohio v. Fishel, et al., the Ohio Supreme Court considered whether the surviving company of a merger that was not the original contracting employer in a noncompete can enforce the noncompete as if it had stepped into the shoes of the initial employer. The Ohio Supreme Court held that although a merger transfers a noncompete to the surviving company, the noncompete is only enforceable according to its terms, which can lead to unexpected results if not drafted properly.

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