Trade Secrets Case Puts Noncompete, Nondisclosure Agreements Center Stage


Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer September 4, 2019
Trade Secrets Case Puts Noncompete, Nondisclosure Agreements Center Stage

​An ex-Google engineer's federal criminal indictment may be one of the most high-profile enforcement cases of trade secret theft. The case will shine a spotlight on how employers use noncompete and nondisclosure agreements and the state of California's hostility toward them.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other outlets on the news.

Ex-Googler Charged

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Anthony Levandowski with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets.

Levandowski is alleged to have downloaded thousands of confidential files from Google's self-driving car project before resigning and eventually creating a start-up that was acquired by Uber.


Silicon Valley Drama

The indictment follows a settlement between Google and Uber that cost Levandowski his job at the ride-hailing company. Google sued Uber in 2017 over its acquisition of Levandowski's startup, alleging that he conspired with Uber to steal 14,000 sensitive files that served as the foundation of Uber's autonomous-car division. Uber and Levandowski denied wrongdoing throughout the civil proceeding.

(The Washington Post)

How to Make Sure Trade Secrets Are Protected

Technology has made it easier for departing employees to take confidential business information to a competitor. Here's what employers can do to safeguard their information.

(SHRM Online)

Using Nondisclosure Agreements

Nondisclosure agreements are used for a variety of reasons—including to protect employers' sensitive business information. But when should they be used, and what types of information should be protected?

(SHRM Online)

Be Careful When Crafting Noncompetes

Employers may want to use noncompetes and other restrictive agreements to protect their business interests, but they must be careful not to overreach. Some state legislatures, such as California, have significantly limited—or are considering legislation to limit—the permissible terms of such agreements.

(SHRM Online)


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