When high-ranking executives walk away from a job in Colorado, they often are bound by noncompete agreements. These contracts attempt to prevent executives from taking trade secrets and other company knowledge to a competitor. One large biotechnology company, Omeros, is engaged in an ongoing legal dispute with its former chief business officer. The company alleges that the executive violated his agreement not to compete with it when he accepted a position with another corporation involved in the development of similar and potentially competitive drugs.
Software giant Microsoft recently filed a lawsuit against Community Health Systems, a Kentucky-based hospital management company. Microsoft believes CHS used copyrighted software without an appropriate license.
Sometimes failed merger negotiations lead to litigation. And sometimes litigation can lead to a countersuit or a separate lawsuit. This is precisely what is happening in Texas. Business owners in Colorado who are contemplating a merger or a buyout of another company should pay attention to developments in this case.
Most business owners are enjoying a prosperous 2016. But like any successful enterprise, a company cannot simply rest on its laurels. It has to keep innovating and competing in the marketplace. However, the successes of a business can be destroyed through a lawsuit. After all, defending a lawsuit can be just as expensive as being liable for the judgment attached to it. Further, the time spent in defending lawsuits can make it difficult for a business to maintain its trajectory of profitability.
When entities sign a business contract, it is generally with the expectation that both parties will abide by the agreement. However, during the course of doing business, there are many issues that could complicate the arrangement and result in contract disputes. When faced with these difficulties, many in Colorado may consider filing a breach of contract lawsuit.
The process of patenting your new invention can be a daunting one, but it is a necessary part of bringing your idea to the market. Before your new stroke of brilliance can change the world forever (or maybe just improve the functionality of toasters), it is important to file a patent to define exactly what makes the idea special and distinct. One pitfall of patent registration is that inventors use ambiguity in their description of the idea by expressing what the invention does instead of clearly expressing how the invention does it.
Part of resolving claims against your business involves investigating them. This includes gaining information about the opposing party as well as the claims that they will advance at trial. This process is known discovery, and it is a critical part of litigation.
Our post last week focused on non-compete agreements. If you are a business owner and will be hiring employees, there are many benefits to including a non-compete agreement in your employment contracts. But as we mentioned earlier, these agreements are not always enforceable if they are not structured in a certain way.
Non-compete agreements have become a standard clause in many employment contracts these days. While these agreements are vital to protecting a company's trade secrets, customer lists and intellectual property, non-competes are also finding their way into employment contracts where they are simply not needed (menial jobs like working at a sandwich shop, for instance).
As a small business owner, chances are that you will be involved in a dispute of some sort at some point, whether it is with a vendor, a customer, an employee, a competitor or even a business partner. Disputes can be as minor as disagreeing with a business partner over where to place the water cooler, or as serious as a former employee accusing you of discrimination. In any case, mediation may be an excellent way to get the dispute resolved.