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Competitive Issues

Knowing the line between legitimate business practices and unfair competition is essential in today's business environment.  Stepping over the line means liability, staying too far back means lost opportunities.  Antitrust laws, trade secret laws, trademark and trade dress, patents, noncompete contracts, and a host of regulatory regimes define the boundaries of permissible competition. Our attorneys apply laws from all of these areas to help our clients establish where the line falls.  We have expertise in:

Antitrust


Every business needs to be concerned about compliance with federal and state antitrust laws.   We have represented plaintiffs and defendants in significant antitrust actions and investigations in a variety of industries.  Another important aspect of our antitrust practice is the design and implementation of compliance programs, including audits. Such compliance programs include pricing and related policies, mergers, distribution agreements, franchise terminations, non-competitive agreements and joint ventures.  We  have counseled clients on antitrust questions ranging from single issues to company-wide programs and handbooks.

Defending, enforcing and drafting noncompete and non-solicitation covenants

Post-employment covenants restricting what former employees do can be an important tool in protecting a company’s goodwill or trade secrets.  However, covenants that go too far are subject to being invalidated by courts.  Jones, Waldo attorneys have successfully represented our clients in dozens of such cases, achieving success on both sides of this issue.  Our experience litigating many of these cases enables us to advise clients on how and when to draft such agreements that will protect the company’s interests and, when put to the test, stand up in court.

Trademark and trade dress claims, trade secret claims and patent claims (both infringement and patent abuse)

A business’s unique knowledge, inventions and identity are among its most important assets.  We counsel clients on issues such as exploitation of patented and non-patented technology, potential monopolization issues and licensing of technology and know-how.   We understand the importance of a company’s identity, and the laws that prohibit others from using it for their own advantage. We counsel our clients in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret issues, and have successfully represented them when litigation becomes unavoidable.

Other areas affecting competition

The Competitive Issues and Opportunities Group’s purpose is to use common law and statutes in creative ways to assist our clients in competing in effective and lawful ways and resisting unlawful competition against our clients.  This requires our attorneys to be skilled in many areas of laws beyond those listed specifically above, including:

Interference with Prospective Economic Relations
False Advertising
Business Disparagement
Abuse of Process/Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings
Internet Law, including Domain Name Disputes
Unfair Practices



Attorneys
James S. Lowrie (Group Leader)
Timothy C. Houpt
Blake D. Miller
Michael Patrick O'Brien
Brady L. Rasmussen
John C. Rooker
Michael R. Shaw
Marianne G. Sorensen
Nathan D. Thomas
Mark D. Tolman