How to Avoid Getting Sued by a Former Employer


CIO: Why do you expect an increase in intellectual property-related litigation?

Michael Kump: The lifeblood of most businesses is information: customer information, product information. That's why intellectual property is so highly valued. Whether you're a dry cleaning business with a customer list or a biotech company in Silicon Valley, the information you have is the lifeblood of what you do.

As economic conditions tighten and people start looking for ways to cut corners and gain an advantage, some will cross the line and do so in an illegal manner. One of the classic shortcuts is to steal competitors' intellectual property. It can be quicker to target key employees at a successful competitor and try to get those employees to come over to your side than to invest in process and grow your business the right way.

There's almost an unstated understanding that those employees you hire from competitors will bring intellectual property with them. That will lead to an increase in litigation. The type of claim I would expect to see is , intentional interference and misappropriation of .

So the company that lost the employees could sue the company that hired them?