FTC Faces Calls for IP Carveouts in Noncompete Ban Rulemaking

January 17, 2023

Bloomberg Law

Jim Pooley was quoted in an edition of Bloomberg Law on January 17, 2023. His comments are presented below, and you can read the full text of the article by clicking the "Read Article" button.

The proposed ban would upend companies’ approach to protecting their proprietary information, several IP and trade secrets attorneys said. Businesses across the economy would be forced to lean on other mechanisms, such as expensive, time-consuming, and harder-to-prove trade secrets litigation instead, they said.

“This is an absolute disaster when it comes to intellectual property protection,” trade secrets attorney James Pooley said. “And it’s absolutely contrary to the stated objective of this administration of robust trade secrets rights.”

Requiring companies to provide recruits a pre-hire notice of a noncompete agreement—as some states require—is also broadly considered a fair practice, he said.
California has already demonstrated that eliminating noncompetes entirely leads to more trade secrets litigation, Pooley said.

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