For many months now I have been closely following a case in the ED of VA Federal Court. Deltek v. IUVO, is essentially a case where employees left and started a competing business.
Deltek, their ex- employer, came out swinging with trademark, breach of contract, tortious interference of contract claims etc. against a number of ex-employees that started the competing business, IUVO.
Just yesterday, the Federal District Court ruled that the Non-compete provisions of the contracts were unreasonable as a matter of law, thereby granting the Employee’s motion for summary judgment.
“In this case,” Judge Trenga writes “non-competition provisions in each of the individual defendants’ noncompetition agreements, in effect, prohibit defendants from being employed in any capacity by a company that is a Deltek
competitor, whether or not their own particular job responsibilities at such a competitor are part of that company’s activities competitive to Deltek’s business activities and regardless of whether Deltek’s proprietary information relate to their employment activities.”
Such restrictions the court concludes, “are broader than [Deltek’s] legitimate business interests require, are not reasonable from the individual defendants’ perspective and are not reasonable as a matter of public policy.”
Since the agreement is unreasonable, it is not relevant whether or not the employees breached the agreement.
“For the above reasons,this Court has found the individual defendants’ non-competition agreements unenforceable and any breach of those agreements by the individual defendants, even if induced by other defendants, is not actionable, and there is an absence of evidence to support a claim that any defendants otherwise induced a breach of any valid Deltek contract.”
Lets hope that Deltek will see the writing on the wall and walk away from this one. Lets hope they do the same in the other cases they have oending against ex-employees who are just trying to make a living for their families.
WAY TO GO IUVO – Congrats.
We are so glad for this outcome and wish you all the best. Happy Competing!