Unfair Competition and Trade Secret Litigation
Non-compete agreements are for the most part unlawful and unenforceable under California law. Because non-compete agreements are lawful in a majority of states, many employers attempt to have another state's law govern the non-compete agreement in an effort to render the provision lawsful. California courts have ruled that an employer cannot designate another state's law as controlling on the validity of a non-compete provision because California's strong public policy prohibiting non-compete provisions overrides any contractual provision to the contrary.
It is unlawful to misappropriate trade secrets. Under California law, a "trade secret" is defined as information that (1) derives independent economic value from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (2) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. Information that does not meet this standard will not be considered a trade secret that is subject to the protections of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.