The Trade Secrets Blog

Following Trade Secrets Litigation

Nevermore quoth the Ravens – Aerotek Sues Johnson Group Again

Financial Week is reporting that Aerotek, a staffing firm based in Maryland and run by Steve Bisciotti, who also owns the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL, has sued Michael Ponce, a former employee for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, interference with contractual relationships, unfair competition and false advertising. Aerotek has also asked the court to stop Mr. Ponce from using its trade secrets to solicit business and to force him to return confidential client information. The suit was filed on November 9, 2007, in Sacramento County Superior Court.

This is where it gets interesting–the allegations relate to Ponce leaving Aerotek to join Johnson Group Staffing Co., a company started by Chris Johnson, another former employee of Aerotek, who was already sued by Aerotek in June 2006. That lawsuit was settled–as part of the settlement the Johnson Group agreed to stop soliciting or serving Aerotek contract engineering clients for 15 months.

Now, Aerotek is going after another employee who defected to work for the Johnson Group. According to the Sacramento Business Journal, Ponce was hired by Aerotek in March 2005. According to the article, he signed a confidentiality and nondisclosure statement, promising not to divulge any trade secrets for the benefit of another company. The complaint alleges that Ponce made an unauthorized copy of a client binder which he is apparently now using to contact clients of Aerotek.

We’ll keep you updated on this case as it progresses.


January 14, 2008 - Posted by | confidentiality agreement, Intellectual Property, misappropriation, non-disclosure agreement, Trade Secrets | , , , , ,

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