Previously, in Protecting the Secret… We left the employer and employee mulling the latest revelation: Restraints of Trade can be enforced, but only if the employer has a legitimate proprietary interest, worthy of legal protection, that will be jeopardized if the employee joins the opposition. Is the employer motivated by vindictiveness, or a genuine desire to protect the valuable confidential information that was given to the employee? Is the employee on the verge of gleefully transferring a few terabytes worth of confidential information to the competitor, or simply looking forward to earning an honest salary in exchange for a hard day’s work? Does the restraint do more than merely restrict competition?
Previously, in Protecting the Secret… The employer and ex-employee are in the ring, slowly circling each other, acutely aware of their opponent’s every movement, each bracing for the next blow. The employer has taken an early lead, but the beads of sweat evident on his forehead give away his uncertainty. The ex-employee has lost some of the confidence and bravado that was evident before The Great Reveal: restraints of trade can be enforced. But clings grimly to the glimmer of hope inherent in the proviso to The Great Reveal: not all restraints of trade are enforceable. They can be struck down if found to be contrary to public policy. The crowd holds its collective breath, with the employers rooting for the sanctity of contract and the employees cheering loudly in support of freedom of trade. Who will gain the upper hand and emerge the victor?