Is non-compete valid in different industry?

I have a non-compete where the first clause that i question is:

1)"The Employee shall not, at any times during the period hereof, and for ,2 years from the date of termination of this Agreement. directly or indirectly, within the United States. engage in, or become involved in, any competitive or similar business as that of the within Employer".

Now my previous employer was an Insurance Software Development company with a client base. My new company is a holding company and i create software for an insurance company that is for internal use only. The insurance company actually underwrites/issues/sells policies where as my previous employer simply wrote Insurance Software.

The next questions is:

"Any techniques, documentation or source code developed by Employee Within (COMPANY) may not be implemented In any other ayatem regardless of use or purpose - indefinitely. ALL SOURCE COde. documentation, and proceues are the property of (COMPANY) regardless of where development occurs including inside or outside the company or in the Emptoyees free time or after hours during the term of this agreement".

For this clause i did not understand an insurance terminology that was of use. We wrote software in a platform that was years past its prime and was a web based software platform. I am writing a software application that is a desktop application and for internal use only where the former employers application was for Customer, Agent and Internal use. The platform difference is a significant enough difference that would prevent me from using any similar process of development.

So the question is, would the non-compete i signed be enforceable even though i work within the same industry (insurance) but not for a software company that sells its product?

2 answers  |  asked Apr 24, 2012 2:12 PM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (2)

Phyllis Towzey
The answer, as in so many legal matters, is -- it depends.

As Mr. Massey noted, this situation is too complex for an attorney to analyze it without reviewing the entire agreement, and discussing the underlying facts with you in detail.

From what you have provided, it appears to me that there is a good likelihood that your employment by the new company is not a violation of the noncompete, but again, I cannot be certain based on the contract excerpts and limited information that was provided.

Regarding the second part of your question, if you developed software applications not readily available int he industry while working for your old employer, then your agreement would appear to prevent you from using those same software applications at your new job. But again, it's very difficult (and unwise) for an attorney to attempt to give an opinion on a contract without reading the entire document, and being apprised of all the facts.

I do specialize in this area of law, and if you would like to contact me regarding this matter, please don't hesitate to do so.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Apr 25, 2012 4:14 PM [EST]
Michael Massey
There is no easy answer to this question, you will not get it from this method. You need to hire an attorney to examine all the facts and the entire agreement. This is not the type of question for which you will be able to get an easy answer. The statute and case law involved are so complex and changing its astounding. Find an attorney experienced in these matters and be ready to pay for that analysis.

Michael Massey

855 E. Univ. Ave.
Gainesville, Florida 32601
(352) 505.8900 (Tel)
(352) 414-5488 (Fax)

posted by Michael Massey  |  Apr 24, 2012 4:32 PM [EST]

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