Non-Competition Agreements: Enforceable or not?

In Illinois Non-Competition Agreements are enforceable under the right circumstances.  Generally, the employer must be protecting a legitimate business interest to be able to enforce a non competition agreement. Moreover, these agreements are carefully scrutinized and can often be unenforceable if they are not reasonable in time and geographic location.

Often an employer is well served to have tag along trade secrets or confidential information claims to help with enforcing a non-competition agreement. Another, alternative is to be able to demonstrate a near permanent relationship with the employee new or prospective employer. See. Applebaum v. Applebaum, 355 Ill. App.3d 926, 933, (1st Dist. 2005).

Moreover, there are often issues about timing, execution and adequate consideration that may render a non competition agreement unenforceable.  Creative Entertainment v. Lorenz, 265 Ill. App. 3d 343, 347, (1st Dist. 1994).  In addition, employees are typically allowed to use their general knowledge and skill with new employers.

Thus, understanding how to draft and enforce non-competition agreements is more of an art than science.  A well drafted agreement can server to protect an business or employers intellectual property and hard work.  However, enforcing a non-competition agreement can be fast and furious with use of temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctions.

If you have any concerns or questions about drafting, enforcing or reviewing a non-competition agreement, then please feel free to contact us.

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