The most important event in a dispute involving trade secrets or unfair competition is the hearing when the court issues or rejects an injunction or “TRO”. An TRO is essentially an injunction to prevent the party from exploiting its illegal activities. The trial begins with filing a complaint that does not look fundamentally different from any other legal action. Claims are generally invoked in theories such as “transformation” (i.e. theft), fraud, breach of contract or violations of state and federal trade secrets. The difference is that the parties usually find themselves before a judge in just a few days, or perhaps only hours after the lawsuit is filed for a hearing that, for all intents and purposes, resolves the case. This is the TRO hearing. The outgoing employee should also be asked to sign a certificate certifying that he or she is returning all of the employer`s property until a specific date, and someone should check to make sure this happens. Signing such a certification promises the importance of the employee`s duty of confidentiality. If this certification subsequently proves to be false (i.e., if it is later found that the employee has in fact misappropriated trade secrets), the false certification will be critical evidence that the relevance of the employer`s efforts to protect itself – and the wickedness of the former employee. “It doesn`t matter.
I know. And I know that this trade secret agreement that you signed me is crap. Acton also insisted on a clause prohibiting any request to Red Hot employees to accompany the outgoing employee to a new site. And the agreement would specify that Red Hot would have the option of obtaining an injunction against the employee who uses Red Hot`s proprietary information and trade secrets. The agreement contained a clause that the employee`s use of the information was in itself the basis for obtaining the court order. California employers often face an upward challenge to protect against the competitive activities of former workers. In addition to the explicit assurance of competition contracts under the California Business and Professions Code (“B-P”) Section 16600, California is putting in place obstacles to pursuing claims against former employees who contract confidential business information but do not rise to the level of trade secrecy. In addition, California Code of Civil Procedures employers continue to restrict the exercise of a california`s Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA” claim unless the employer can identify so-called trade secrets as a threshold of “reasonable specificity.”  This prevents companies from using the discovery mechanisms to find out what an employee has done to confirm the right to misappropriation of trade secrets; Allegedly misappropriated business secrets must be known at the beginning of a dispute or the case is dismissed. It is therefore important that companies properly identify and monitor potential diversions so that they are well positioned to claim real or imminent malfeasation when circumstances arise. When an employee who has had access to the company`s confidential information and leaves, the company often sends the employee a termination letter reminding the employee of his or her constant obligation to treat the company`s confidential information with due diligence. In addition, once the identity of the new employer is known, many companies will send a letter to the new employer explaining that the worker holds trade secrets and other confidential information from the former employer and urge the new employer to ensure that the worker does not use this information in the new position.