One-Year Non-Compete Too Long For Web

Citing the pace of innovation in the information technology industry, the Southern District of New York has refused to enforce a restriction in an employment agreement that would have prevented a Web site content manager from working for his new company for one year, stating that, in the Internet industry, a one year non-compete "is several generations, if not an eternity". The Court was also unswayed by the former employer's claim that defendant's departure to join another Web service would lead to the "inevitable disclosure" of trade secrets, noting that defendant had little access to highly confidential information. While the Court noted that other courts have judicially modified non-compete agreements to make their terms shorter, it would not do so here because "the agreement as a whole overreaches". (EarthWeb v. Schlack, S.D.N.Y., The New York Law Journal, 10/29/99, p. 1)

For more information, contact:
Jay Parthasarathy at (212) 940-8567 or e-mail jparthasarathy@rosenman.com or Marc S. Reisler at (212) 940-6456 or e-mail msreisler@rosenman.com