Commercial trade secrets can be the lifeblood of a company’s competitive edge. Yet there is a debate in Massachusetts over how best to protect these rights.
As background, non-compete agreements are a contractual way to protect a company’s secrets. An agreement might require an employee to refrain from working in a particular industry for a period of time after leaving his or her job, perhaps for a year. The rationale is aimed at preventing a worker from jumping ship to go to a competing business, or to start his or her own new company based on the company’s established model. If a non-compete agreement is not honored, a company has the legal option to sue a former employee.