January 04, 2017 Articles

Defending Your Trade Secrets after Employees Leave and Compete

By Jeana Goosmann

An employee informs her boss on a Friday afternoon that she is quitting and going to work for a competitor. Company management learns of this fact soon after her departure. Will she try to take business customers with her? Does she have proprietary information about products or services that would be detrimental to the business if shared with a competitor? Does she understand the company-developed business-process software well enough to describe how it works to a programmer at the new company? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” do you have any recourse? It depends.

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