Employment Agreement with Sales and Business Development Manager of a Business
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Restrictions to prevent competition by a former employee are held valid when they are reasonable and necessary to protect the interests of the employer. For example, a provision in an employment contract which prohibited an employee for two years from calling on any customer of the employer called on by the employee during the last six months of employment would generally be valid. Courts will closely examine covenants not to compete signed by individuals in order to make sure that they are not unreasonable as to time or geographical area. For example, suppose a company only operated within a certain city, and the covenant not to compete provided that an employee of the company could not solicit business in the city or within 100 miles of the city if he ever left the employ of the company. Such an agreement would be unreasonable as to its geographical area. The company had no need to be protected regarding such a large geographical area.
A trade secret is a process, method, plan, formula or other information unique to a manufacturer, which has value due to the market advantage over competitors it produces. Use or disclosure of a trade secret by an employee, former employee, or anyone else may be prohibited by a court-ordered injunction. The owner of a trade secret may seek damages against such a person for revealing the secret. Also, when trade secrets are involved in a lawsuit, a "protective order" may be requested from the judge to prohibit revelation of a trade secret or a sealing of the record in the case where references to the trade secret are made. A trade secret is separate from and covered under different law from a patentable invention. Trade secrets include, among others, business assets such as financial data, customer lists, marketing strategies, and information and processes not known to the general public.
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