A Trade Secrets Road Trip Across 50 States

A Trade Secrets Road Trip Across 50 States Photo: SayCheeeeeese, via Wikimedia Commons

Employers and in-house counsel constantly are looking for ways to protect their proprietary information. Questions on enforcing noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements rarely have easy answers, especially for companies operating in multiple jurisdictions. What might be clear and legal for noncompetes in one state may be completely illegal in a bordering state, and then just blurry in another.

In an effort to provide some answers for employers, Seyfarth Shaw is making available a new 2014-15 reference guide, “50 State Desktop Reference: What Employers Need To Know About Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law.”

The guide assembles clear yes or no answers to many general questions employers may have in a multipage chart covering each of the 50 states. Want to know if Ohio has adopted the inevitable disclosure doctrine? Or if noncompetes are allowed in Nevada? The answers (no and yes, in these cases) are in the grid.

The differences in noncompete and trade secrets law from state to state make these issues a moving target. Robert Milligan, a partner in Seyfarth’s Los Angeles office and coauthor of the reference guide, talked to CorpCounsel.com about creating this resource with Michael Wexler, a partner in the firm’s Chicago office.

“Our clients were demanding answers to recurring issues that we knew fellow in-house counsel were also having to deal with,” said Milligan. “This reference is a time- and cost-saver that will give you direct and definitive answers right on the spot.”

In order to keep up with the constantly changing laws and regulations, Seyfarth is posting updated information to the firm’s blog. The firm is also presenting a free series of monthly webinars on trade secrets, noncompete agreements and related employment law topics.