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Violating non-compete agreements can lead to contract disputes

Although many companies try to maintain a high retention rate, it is impossible to hold onto every employee, including those in upper management. Individuals in these roles are typically given access to highly confidential information. In order for Texas businesses to be protected, people with such access sign non-compete agreements to protect company secrets in the event of their departure. Violating these agreements can lead to contract disputes against the individuals and/or their new employers.

A former design executive for Nike was with the company nearly three years before he moved on to join Ralph Lauren Corp. The employee had signed a non-compete agreement because he allegedly had access to the Nike's long-term strategies as well as new product designs that were still in planning. He also had access to other highly confidential information that could be dangerous in the hands of a competitor.

After the employee left Nike, he became Club Monaco's Vice President of Men's Design at Ralph Lauren. Doing so apparently violated his non-compete agreement as he could leak company secrets to Ralph Lauren. The employee allegedly had also been working on Nike's official U.S. athletic apparel for the 2016 Olympics.

Nike stated that it sent notice to Ralph Lauren and the employee that the non-compete agreement had been violated, but both parties continued to violate the agreement. In order to keep the confidential information protected, Nike felt as if it had no choice but to bring forth a lawsuit against Ralph Lauren and the former designer. Texas Companies in similar situations who believe that their non-compete agreements have been breached can seek out business law attorneys who can advise them on how to handle their contract disputes to protect their proprietary information.

Source:, "Nike Sues Ralph Lauren Inc., Matthew Millward For Reportedly Breaking Non-Compete", Kelsey Drain, Dec. 8, 2015

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