A recent trade secrets case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois may make individuals think twice before they attempt to recruit a proxy to get around a noncompete clause. (Orthofix Inc. v. Melissa Gordon (2016 WL 1170896))
Medical device company Orthofix Inc. sued former sales representative Melissa G. for violating the non-solicitation, unfair competition, and nondisclosure provisions of her employment contract; appropriating trade secrets in violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (ITSA); and tortious interference with its business relations.
Orthofix sells “bone growth stimulators,” which purportedly promote the healing of broken bones, to physicians. Melissa worked for Orthofix from 2007 until March 2013. Melissa’s sales territory was central Illinois, later expanding to Chicago, and her job involved keeping detailed notes on physician clients. Upon hire, she signed an agreement promising not to do business with Orthofix customers or compete with the company for one year following separation, nor disclose its trade secrets or confidential information. Continue reading ›