Non-Compete and Non-Disclosure Agreements

The case law in Pennsylvania distinguishes carefully between restrictions on the use of confidential information and restrictions on the right to compete in the same business in order to make a living. Restrictions on the right to compete are disfavored and decisional authority permits equitable enforcement of employee covenants not to compete only so far as reasonably necessary for the protection of the employer. Such agreements are enforceable “if they are reasonably limited as to duration of time and geographical extent.” Jacobson & Co. v. International Environment Corp., 427 Pa. 439, 235 A.2d 612, 620 (1967).

Restrictions on the use of confidential information are enforceable. Nonetheless, if the information an employer seeks to keep confidential through enforcement of a restrictive covenant can be obtained legitimately by the employer’s competitors, the covenant may not be enforceable.

Disputes over enforceability can be raised in equity proceedings filed in our courts of Common Pleas. Aggrieved employers will seek a preliminary injunction and will be required to prove that relief is appropriate and that they are likely at trial to prevail on the merits of their claims.

Pinnola & Bomstein can help you evaluate your claim or your defense to a claim for breach of non-compete and non-disclosure provisions in employment agreements. Our firm has assisted both employees and employers in understanding their rights and we may be able to assist you as well.

Success Story

Tony and Mark's Case — The suit contended there was a violation of typical non-disclosure and non-compete clauses contained in employment agreements