At Aeton, our attorneys represent employers, business owners, and partnerships that need agreements in place to protect legitimate business interests. There is no one-size-fits-all for every business. Typically, our attorneys draft agreements such as non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, invention assignment agreements, confidentiality agreements, or non-disclosure agreements. The goal of these agreements is to protect against unfair competition, misuse of trade secrets, theft of confidential and proprietary information, or infringement of intellectual property rights.
Should You Have an Attorney Draft Your Non-Compete Agreement?
Yes, 100%. Companies sometimes rely on form agreements or Internet templates to protect the most valuable information the company possesses. This is never a good idea. No one ever expects something to go wrong, such as a trusted colleague leaving by surprise. But what happens if it does? Is your business prepared?
Many times clients are surprised that their form contract has little hope of being enforced in Court. Courts are generally looking to examine whether the business really tailored the agreement to protecting legitimate interests that can be explained rationally. With a proper contract, these agreements can be upheld to protect valuable property. Without it, you run the risk of relying on remedies outside of contract law.
We draft our agreements with the possibility of litigation down the road. We hope our clients avoid it, but we try to anticipate the real risks and draft an agreement that fits the client’s business approach with the law. When a key employee leaves, having a good agreement in the first place is the best leverage to reach a settlement without a lawsuit. A strong agreement serves as a deterrent to unfair actions by the departing employee. Keep in mind that if you have high level employees, they are likely to have an attorney review your agreement. An experienced attorney representing the employee will readily know if the agreement is a form agreement or unlikely to be enforceable.
If you are wondering if your business needs agreements to protect property, clients, or trade secrets, think about some of these questions:
- Who owns the technology if the business breaks up?
- Who has a right to contact clients and vendors when a sales person leaves?
- Is a business partner free to start his own business?
- What happens if an LLC member leaves and takes trades secrets or company property?
- Who owns the intellectual property, the business entity, the members, or the employees?
- Can an employee take with him or her the software they developed while an employee?
At Aeton, we can draft agreements to help your business have better guidance and answers for these questions.
Drafting Agreements to Prevent Damages to Your Business
When our lawyers draft agreements, our goal is help employers avoid theft of property, lost sales, and lost profits when employees leave. This includes non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and non-solicitation agreements that are appropriate for the business and balanced with the law. To increase the chance that an employment agreement will be enforced in court, businesses need an experienced employment attorney that has knowledge of state specific law.
Protecting Valuable Company Assets with an Employment Agreement
Without an agreement in place, you may inadvertently give employees or contractors intellectual property rights to valuable technology. Do not assume that if you pay for it, you own it. The law does not always work that way for intellectual property. Identification and protection of information, including customer relationship databases, e-mails, electronic messages, voicemails, reports, and contact information are often critical areas to protect. Likewise, identification and assignment of intellectual property rights to valuable technology, such as software code, inventions, and original works of authorship, may be critical to the long-term success of your business.
Contact Aeton Law Partners if your business needs agreements in place to protect against the misuse of valuable property and company information.