Tony and Mark's Case
In 2012, Pinnola & Bomstein represented defendants in the automotive supply distribution business. Tony was the successful owner of the business. Mark was a successful sales representative for a competitor but he was now looking for a new position.
Mark had worked for his former employer for many years and was familiar with most of the outlets for auto supplies in the state of New Jersey. When he signed on to work for Tony, he brought that knowledge with him and did not take with him any confidential or proprietary information. Nonetheless, the former employer brought suit against both Mark and Tony.
The suit sought a preliminary injunction. It contended that there was a violation of typical non-disclosure and non-compete clauses contained in its employment agreement. Under Pennsylvania law, the former employer was required to prove that it was likely to prevail on the merits on its claims against Tony and Mark.
In order to enforce the non-compete and non-disclose provisions, Mark’s former employer had to prove that the information it was trying to protect could not be obtained by its competitors through legitimate business means. After a lengthy court hearing, however, the judge found that Mark’s former employer was unable to meet this burden of proof and, therefore, the request for an injunction was denied.
After losing the injunction hearing, the former employer dropped its case and Mark continued to work for Tony for several years.