When a top-level executive suddenly quits to take a job at a competing firm, the courts have the power to block the start of the new employment if the evidence shows that such an injunction is needed to prevent a likely misappropriation of trade secrets, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The ruling came in Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc. v. Botticella, in which the appellate court considered whether the manufacturer of Thomas’ brand English muffins was entitled to an injunction that barred one of its top-level executives from taking a new job with Hostess Inc.

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