Protecting Scientific and High Tech Trade Secrets

Crafting and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants in Light of New Social Media Vulnerabilities

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, November 10, 2011

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will address specific challenges facing scientific and high tech companies in protecting trade secrets using restrictive covenants. The panel will discuss current law and provide tips for crafting, implementing and enforcing agreements that reflect today's extensive use of social media at work.


Protecting client lists is critically important to scientific and high tech businesses. Ensuring that employees will not disclose protected information is key. Attorneys for these companies must take affirmative steps to protect such information by crafting, implementing and enforcing restrictive covenants.

Employees increasingly connect with clients through social media, developing relationships that benefit their employers—until the employee leaves the company. Recent federal court cases demonstrate the difficult line between employees' right to connect in social media and the protection of trade secrets.

In Sasqua Group v. Courtney, the court ruled that because the client list could easily be identified through sites like LinkedIn, it was not a trade secret. In TEKsystems v. Hammernick, a company alleged former employees used inside knowledge of its clients to solicit them through LinkedIn.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment and media law attorneys provides practical advice for counsel to high-tech companies on revising outdated restrictive covenants to address the social media connections of employees. The panel will outline challenges in and approaches to drafting, implementing and enforcing these covenants in the workplace.



  1. Challenges to Restrictive Covenants Specific to Science and High Tech Companies
    1. Client List Protection
    2. Other Trade Secret Protection
    3. Employee Rights
  2. Crafting Effective and Enforceable Restrictive Covenants to Protect Trade Secrets
  3. Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants
  4. Current State of the Law


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the potential conflicts and vulnerabilities for a company's protected client list due to employees' use of social media?
  • What types of restrictions have companies successfully imposed on employees who have left their employment?
  • What are the unique aspects of scientific or high tech businesses that counsel must consider when drafting restrictive covenants for clients in those industries?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Beck, Russell
Russell Beck

Beck Reed Riden

Mr. Beck is a business, trade secrets, and employee mobility litigator, nationally recognized for his trade secrets and...  |  Read More

Scott Gibson
Scott Gibson

Founding Partner
Gibson Ferrin

He helps businesses and individuals navigate the challenges of the legal system. His practice focuses on intellectual...  |  Read More

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