Non-Compete Litigation On the Upswing

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article earlier this month about the increase in litigation to enforce non-competition agreements and the impact of such agreements (and the threat of litigation) on entrepreneurship.   The article cited research showing that the number of published U.S. court decisions involving noncompete agreements rose 61% since 2002, and noted that the number of lawsuits is likely much higher because many disputes settle out of court or do not result in reported decisions.  Also of interest was research that indicates that in states where non-compete agreements are unenforceable or difficult to enforce, like California, there are many more start-ups than in states that liberally enforce non-competes, such as Massachusetts.  The impact, if any, of Oregon’s non-compete statute on new business ventures in Oregon was not mentioned.

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