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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ind. Decisions - COA "upholds the enforcement of a five-year non-compete agreement"

Elizabeth Mayne v. O'Bannon Publishing Company, Inc., d/b/a Corydon Instant Print (NFP), a July 17th opinion designated by the panel as not-for-publication, caught the ILB's eye at the time because of the five-year restriction on competition. Mark D. Scudder of Barnes & Thornburg has a brief write-up of the opinion at Lexology.com. Some quotes:

When Indiana employers draft non-compete agreements, they must weigh whether the Indiana courts will find their agreements’ restrictions to be reasonable, and therefore enforceable. The Indiana Court of Appeal recently issued a decision which illustrates how restrictive these agreements can be. In Mayne v. O’Bannon Publishing Co. d/b/a Corydon Instant Press, the court upheld the enforcement of a five-year non-compete agreement covering a two-county area. * * *

This case illustrates that there are no hard and fast rules for non-compete agreements—the agreement will be enforced if “reasonable.” These agreements can have longer durations—here five years—if the geographic scope of the agreement is limited. The employee’s position is another key factor, with the court permitting greater restrictions where the employee has more significant dealing with customers. The key takeaway from this is that in Indiana, as in most states, non-compete agreements need to be narrowly tailored for the business and the individual position. Businesses should retain competent legal counsel for assistance in drafting these agreements if they hope to enforce them.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 30, 2013 02:50 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions