In today's ultra-competitive business climate, aggressively protecting information that is unique to your company and instrumental to its operations is more important than ever. A single technological breakthrough, marketing innovation or major client relationship can be the key to sustained success. Brand reputation and integrity are also vital. When a partner or key employee moves on, clarity surrounding what specific company information is protected and what competitive restrictions apply becomes critical.
Before moving on, it is important for both parties to take steps to protect themselves. Is a former partner, an ex-employee or a competitor unlawfully interfering with your business? Has that individual stolen trade secrets, infringed on a patent or trademark, breached an employment contract or interfered with your existing contracts? If so, what recourse do you have? Perhaps you are an entrepreneur, inventor, executive or other professional who needs guidance on your legal rights before embarking on your next venture or signing a noncompete agreement or other contract.
At Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, we know that your concerns involving trade secrets and competitive restrictions are real, practical and extremely time-sensitive. Our job is to successfully draft, implement, defend and enforce agreements that protect you or your business now and in the future. In fact, we have won intellectual property and contract dispute cases for several prominent companies engaged in health care, technology and other industries.
Are your business or professional interests at stake? The most important step is to get our Houston business lawyers involved right away.
Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online to schedule an informative, confidential consultation.
We serve businesses and individual clients in Houston and throughout Texas.
You can protect your organization's trade secrets with the following tools:
You can use these tools in multiple ways. We will advise you based on your unique situation: these agreements can be effective on their own, as standalone documents, or in conjunction with a covenant not to compete. Either way, they provide one of the most efficient and effective means that exist in the preemptive protection of trade secrets.
Simply put, the court looks at the steps you've taken to protect your trade secrets. This helps to put your nondisclosure and non-compete agreements into context. We will advise you on the comprehensive plan you will need to prove that your agreements are enforceable in a court of law.
Having the right agreement and taking proper steps from the outset will go a long way toward protecting your trade secrets, but that won't prevent all cases of misappropriation. However, not only will the agreement serve as a deterrent, it is a tool that can be enforced in court.
When your partner, colleague, or employee violates such an agreement, if done right, you have a strong cause of action enforceable in court.
At Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, we can help you enforce the agreement in the event of theft, misuse, or misappropriation. Whether it's theft or misuse of proprietary information, the violation of a non-compete agreement, or setting your company up with the proper protections, you can depend on clear and focused guidance.
For more than 25 years, our Houston business law attorneys have represented business clients in negotiations, trial litigation and appeals to resolve complex, business-critical disputes involving trade secrets. Equally important, our clients rely on us for counsel and services that enable them to avoid business disruption.
The scope of our legal services:
The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act defines a trade secret as information that has economic value because it is not generally known, and reasonable efforts have been made to keep it secret.
Under the act, adopted in 2013, trade secrets include:
The law strengthens trade secret protections in the state. For more information, see our blog entry, "What is a trade secret under Texas' new law?"
The laws that govern trade secrets, unfair competition and related issues are nuanced and complex. Our business litigation attorneys stay on the leading edge of this all-important legal area by tracking judicial precedents and evolving case law. Our experience includes providing counsel and representation for both companies and individuals involved in disputes over confidential and proprietary information. We emphasize:
Non-compete agreements, nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and non-compete clauses in more comprehensive employment contracts are now commonplace in most industries. Business entities depend on these agreements for protection of proprietary information and to prevent ex-employees from working for competitors when they leave the company.
If you are a physician, corporate executive, trader or broker, sales professional, developer or anyone else with substantial value and access within a company, you may well be required by your employer to sign a non-compete agreement. Given that the contract you sign could determine your career options and financial future, you should always consult a qualified attorney to ensure that you understand all restrictions.
Key considerations regarding non-compete agreements for businesses and employees include:
At Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, we have decades of experience drafting, implementing, defending and challenging non-competes and all other types of business and employment contracts. You can depend on our full-service business litigation firm to pursue creative solutions aligned with your most important goals and to aggressively defend you in litigation.
If you're a medical professional or healthcare provider, non-competes are especially vital to the prosperity of your practice or your business. However, the vitality of medicine means these agreements have to consider the interests of the public, and are thus bound by certain restrictions.
Specifically, physician non-competes must allow doctors:
However, for doctors, non-competes can force them to move out of their region if they choose to open their own practice, or limit their practice in other ways. New physicians may not know what a fair non-compete agreement entails, or how to protect themselves from overly restrictive clauses.
At Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, P.C., we draft and review non-compete clauses to ensure that everyone's interests are protected: physicians, hospitals, and patients. A well-constructed non-compete clause is beneficial to everyone. Hospitals feel free to invest in their physicians, knowing their investment is protected, and physicians know that the terms of their agreement will not restrict their future success.
If you have just finished your residency and are considering employment with a local hospital or private practice, call our firm immediately. We are more than happy to review your contract and help you negotiate a fair covenant with your employer.
Our legal team has exceptional credentials and an impressive track record of success in litigation over trade secret violations and non-compete agreements. Complex, high-profile disputes with millions of dollars and businesses on the line are familiar territory. Whatever your specific concerns, we have the lawyers in house to address them with maximum effectiveness. Our practice is also defined by discretion and protection of our clients' reputations and public images.
To speak confidentially with an attorney who will prioritize your unique goals and provide guidance you can trust, please call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online.