Russell Beck and Hannah Joseph to Speak at BBA’s IP Year in Review

RRussell Beckussell Beck will be covering trade secrets at the Boston Bar Association’s 16th Annual Intellectual Property Year in Review. The event will be held today, January 21, 2016, from 3:00 to 6:30, with a reception to follow. More information is available here.

Hannah Joseph, a member of the Boston Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Committee, will be introducing speakers at today’s event.

This year’s program will feature keynote speaker Professor Michael Meurer of Boston University School of Law.

This year’s panel includes the following speakers:

The panel will cover the following topics:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Trade Secrets and Noncompetes
  • Privacy and Data Security

Photos from a prior BBA Intellectual Property Year in Review event can be found here and here.

Beck Reed Riden LLPBLF 2014_Silver_Generalis among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal recently featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2014 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Writes In Support of Federal Trade Secret Law

Capitol sunset Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC

Russell Beck recently joined 19 other trial lawyers across the United States in sending a letter to a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress commending them on their efforts to protect trade secrets by introducing and sponsoring the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015.

The letter states, in part, that the federal legislation “will help strengthen the law and the remedies available and protect trade secrets and the innovation they promote in several significant respects.”

The letter concludes as follows:

The United States continues to lead the world in innovation. Trade secrets are a key part of the innovation process, which suffers when trade secret owners cannot adequately obtain effective remedies to redress the theft of their trade secrets. Current state-law-based remedies cannot address unique issues that commonly arise in current trade secret litigation. Based on our litigation experience, your legislation is necessary to strengthen and protect trade secrets and, concurrently, the U.S. economy.

The complete letter can be viewed and downloaded below:

[pdfviewer width=”600px” height=”425px” beta=”true/false”]https://beckreedriden.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Trade-Secret-Practitioner-Letter-of-Support-Final.pdf[/pdfviewer]  
BLF 2014_Silver_GeneralBeck Reed Riden LLP

is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Russell BeckThe January 12, 2015, issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features Russell Beck in an article titled “Trade-secret plaintiff can’t audit all of rival’s computers.” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

The article covers a decision by the Massachusetts Superior Court that a company was not required to give an opposing party forensic access to all of its computers following allegations that its employee misappropriated trade secrets. The case is titled InVivo Therapeutic Corporation v. PixarBio Corporation.

In the article, Russell Beck is quoted as follows:

Boston attorney Russell Beck, another trade-secret expert, said the decision serves as a reminder that “the sins of the father cannot be visited on the children.”

In other words, Beck said, the mere fact that a departing employee has indisputably stolen trade secrets does not automatically mean that the new employer is equally, or even partially, culpable. Accordingly, a court is going to analyze the employer’s blameworthiness before ordering it to submit to a wholesale forensic investigation by the plaintiff’s expert.

“All too often, we forget that having a smoking gun as to one defendant does not necessarily justify tarnishing the other defendants with the same brush,” the Beck, Reed Riden partner said.

The article is by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s reporter, Eric T. Berkman.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis among the leading2015_BLF_Silver_Standard authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2014 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

 

Russell Beck Quoted in The New York Times

New York TimesThe New York Times recently featured Russell Beck in an article about noncompete agreements. The story is titled “Scrutiny on Worker Non-Compete Deals.” The article, which appeared on January 3, 2015, is from The Associated Press.

Following coverage of the use of noncompete agreements by sandwich maker Jimmy John’s, the story focuses on the use of noncompete agreements for low-wage workers. In the article, Russell Beck describes how courts handle overly-restrictive non-compete agreements:

States differ on enforcement. Almost three dozen states allow judges to rewrite defective non-competition agreements, according to Russell Beck, a corporate law attorney who conducts national reviews. In a few states, he said, judges can strike problematic restrictions but keep the rest of the deal. Just under half-a-dozen states require that judges completely toss non-compete agreements if any part of it is legally flawed. Three states ban the agreements.

In April 2014, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly featured Russell Beck’s analysis of what would happen if noncompete agreements are eliminated in Massachusetts.

2015_BLF_Silver_Standard

Beck Reed Riden LLPis among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience.

Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2014 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck to Speak at BBA’s IP Year in Review

RRussell Beckussell Beck will be covering trade secrets and noncompete agreements at the Boston Bar Association’s 15th Annual Intellectual Property Year in Review. The event will be on Thursday, January 8, 2015, from 3:00 to 6:30, with a reception to follow. More information is available here.

This year’s program will feature keynote speaker Professor Arti Rai of Duke University School of Law.

This year’s panel includes the following speakers:

The panel will cover the following topics:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Trade Secrets and Noncompetes
  • Privacy and Data Security

Photos from a prior BBA Intellectual Property Year in Review event can be found here and here.

*** UPDATE January 21, 2015: Due to a conflict, Russell Beck was not available to appear at the BBA’s annual IP Year in Review, so Stephen Riden gave a presentation on trade secrets and noncompete agreements.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal recently featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2014 Chambers USA Guide, which explained that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

Russell Beck Ranked By Chambers

Russell BeckRussell Beck‘s experience with noncompete and trade secret matters is lauded in the 2014 Chambers USA Guide.

Chambers explains that “Russell Beck of Beck Chambers Logo 2014Reed Riden LLP specializes in noncompete litigation and is a trade secrets expert. He comes highly recommended by his peers for his nationwide practice in this niche. ‘He’s fantastic,’ sources say.”

Russell was first ranked by Chambers USA in its 2010 guide, and was also honored by Chambers USA in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Beck Reed Riden LLPis among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

Beck Reed Riden LLPis Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

What if noncompete agreements are eliminated in Massachusetts?

Russell BeckThe current issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly features Russell Beck’s article about potential changes to the landscape of noncompete agreements in Massachusetts. The article is called “What to do if non-competes are eliminated in Massachusetts.” Russell Beck’s articlMassachusetts Lawyers Weeklye, which appears below, can also be found on Russell’s blog, Fair Competition Law.

 

The Patrick administration has spent a great deal of time putting together comprehensive legislation designed to promote growth and opportunity in Massachusetts. Of particular note is the proposal to adopt a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act coupled with a California-like ban of employee non-competes.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been working with the administration (in particular, the Office of Housing and Economic Development) on the language of Section 53, the relevant section of the bill, and with other lawmakers at the State House on other versions as well. However, I view my role purely as an advisor on the drafting to accomplish the particular policy, not on what that policy should be.

If the Patrick administration’s version is the one that succeeds, the obvious question is: What should companies do to protect their legitimate business interests without non-competes?

There are a number of steps that should be taken, many of which companies have been taking all along, though perhaps not as vigilantly as they will need to going forward.

Here are the five key steps:

FIRSTand foremost is to review all existing restrictive covenant, employee and independent contractor agreements. If the bill is adopted in its current form, the language states that it will apply to existing agreements — and not just agreements with employees, but with independent contractors as well.

That means that existing agreements are not immune and may need to be changed. If they include well-drafted non-solicitation State house strt(of customers), no-raid (of employees), and confidentiality provisions, it is possible they can be left intact, recognizing that the non-compete provision will simply be unenforceable.

However, if those other protections are missing, too limited or simply not well-drafted, they will need to be revised. If they need to be revised, the employer should consider the best timing and method to do so in order to avoid running afoul of arguments concerning notice, equity/fairness and consideration.

SECONDand equally important, proper safeguards must be in place to protect company trade secrets (which in Massachusetts include confidential information and can cover anything from the secret formula to Coke to customer lists) from the risk of misappropriation in the first place.

Accordingly, a trade secrets protection plan (sometimes called a “trade secrets audit”) will be more important now than ever before. Key elements are steps to lock down information, education of employees and others with access to trade secrets, and plans for responding to a possible misappropriation.

Instituting a proper trade secrets protection plan does not guarantee confidential information will never be misappropriated or that the employer cannot still sue if it is. (Seventy-five percent of employees admit to taking company information.) But, a proper trade secrets protection plan should help limit the number of times an employer will need to resort to litigation, while simultaneously increasing the likelihood of obtaining injunctive relief through litigation.

Note that trade secrets litigation is more costly than non-compete litigation, because there is no bright line to rely on for purposes of getting quick injunctive relief. With non-compete litigation (assuming the agreement is enforceable), it is generally clear whether the obligation has been breached or not: Either the employee is at the competitor or he is not. With trade secrets litigation, the odds are much greater that discovery will be necessary to determine whether the employer’s information is, in fact, being used and how.

THIRDLike the prophylactic protections for trade secrets, safeguards should also be put in place to protect the company’s customer goodwill from the risk of misappropriation. The most obvious is non-solicitation agreements.But other steps should be taken as well. Those include having multiple points of contact with each customer when feasible, plans for securing the relationships upon an employee’s departure, and proper mechanisms for managing social media accounts and contacts.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.06.01 PMThe protections available for retaining talent should not be forgotten. If an employer wants to limit departing employees from poaching the remaining employees, it must have proper no-raid (or no-hire) agreements (sometimes called non-solicitation agreements or no-poach agreements) in place.In addition, the employer should take steps to give employees reason to stay — and, separately, disincentives to leave. For example, forfeiture agreements (agreements that require the forfeiture of certain benefits or payments if the employee leaves) are one tool that should be considered.

FIFTHIf litigation is necessary, move quickly. Delay can be the biggest problem for companies in these cases. And, without the protections of non-compete agreements, delay can create even greater risks of loss of trade secrets, relationships or employees.

 

Beck Reed Riden LLP is among the leading authorities in trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition law, and our experience handling these matters is backed by our extensive employment law and business litigation experience. Our hand-picked team combines attorneys with complementary expertise and practical experience. The Wall Street Journal recently featured Beck Reed Riden LLP’s noncompete agreement experience.

Russell Beck’s work in this area is well recognized; it includes:

  • Over sixteen years of working on trade secret, noncompete, and unfair competition matters
  • Authoring the book Negotiating, Drafting, and Enforcing Noncompetition Agreements and Related Restrictive Covenants (4th ed., MCLE, Inc. 2010), used by other lawyers to help them with their noncompete cases
  • Drafting and advising on the current bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature to define, codify, and improve noncompetition law
  • Teaching Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at Boston University School of Law
  • Founding and administrating the award-winning blog, Fair Competition Law
  • Establishing and administrating the Noncompete Lawyers and Trade Secret Protection groups on LinkedIn, with over 750 members around the world
  • Founded and chaired the Trade Secret / Noncompete Practice for an AmLaw 100 firm

In addition, Russell was honored for his work in this area of law in the 2013 Chambers USA Guide, which included Russell in its “Notable Practitioners” section, adding that “Russell Beck of Beck Reed Riden LLP is respected by commentators for his skills as a litigator. His areas of specialty include noncompete and trade secrets matters.”

Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.

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