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Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets: Protecting Against Unfair Competition


Learn to protect your clients' trade secrets and get practical tips for using restrictive covenants and trade secret agreements.

This program provides both an overview and specific principles of law regarding the protection against unfair competition through restrictive covenants and trade secret safeguards - two of the fastest-growing areas of intellectual property law outside of traditional patent, copyright, and trademark concerns. Topics covered include multiple aspects of protecting confidential business information, customer bases, and other competitive business interests through covenants not to compete, nonsolicitation agreements, and confidentiality agreements; multistate drafting and enforcement concerns; the blue-penciling doctrine and severability; trade secret identification and misappropriation under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the common law; the inevitable disclosure doctrine, developing a trade secret protection program; recent legal developments; best practices with departing employees; and much more. This material will also address client counseling strategies and provide numerous tips when applying legal principles to practical situations often encountered with trade secrets and restrictive covenant issues, primarily in the employer-employee context.



Kenneth P. Carlson, Jr.

Kenneth P. Carlson, Jr.

Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP

  • Partner with Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Practice primarily involves employment law and litigation, trade secret and unfair competition law and litigation, drafting employment and non-competition agreements, FLSA and wage/hour issues, serving as a mediator for cases in those areas of law
  • Consistently named to North Carolina Super Lawyers and Business North Carolina’s annual Legal Elite for employment law or alternative dispute resolution; named to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly 2023 “Power List” for employment lawyers
  • Consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America for employment law, trade secret law, or alternative dispute resolution, including various “Lawyer of the Year” designations
  • Certified mediator with an emphasis on mediating employment-related disputes, covenants not to compete and trade secret issues, FLSA and wage/hour issues, and ERISA denial of benefits cases
  • Adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law, including courses on Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition, and Negotiation
  • J.D. degree, Wake Forest University School of Law; M.Div. degree, Yale University; B.A. degree, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 336-721-684

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