Most people are well aware that competition is fierce in the technology industry, where new products and services are popping up and continuing to improve and develop at a blinding rate. It makes sense, then, that businesses in the industry would be keen on recruiting top talent and protecting their innovative ideas and business plan. One of the tools businesses frequently use to do this is non-compete agreements.
The law of non-compete agreements differs from state to state, with some states–particularly California–all but banning them. The technology industry is currently divided as to whether or not non-compete agreements should or should not be legal. The argument against their use is that they prevent employee mobility and thus slow down innovation and the sharing of ideas. Supporters within the industry, of course, say that they are critical tools for protecting proprietary business interests.
It remains to be seen how the law on non-compete agreements in Massachusetts will develop in the future under the influence of the technology industry. At present, though, non-compete law in Massachusetts is not as uniform as it is in some other states. Massachusetts currently has laws on the books which govern the use of non-compete agreements in specific industries, but the technology industry is not one of them.
Sorting out the current law surrounding non-compete agreements is not an easy matter. Businesses in the technology industry–or in any industry, for that matter–which make use of non-compete agreements should, of course, work with experienced legal counsel when drafting non-compete agreements to ensure their effectiveness and legality.