Former Louis Vuitton executive ordered to return trade secrets

In many types of businesses trade secrets play an important part of their success. Accordingly, it is not uncommon for employees made privy to those secrets to have to sign a non-compete agreement. The idea behind such an agreement is that it will prevent the secrets from being leaked to businssess that are competitors. When such an agreement is breached, a business may be able to sue the employee or former employee that is responsible for that action. Fashion house Louis Vuitton is pursuing this course of action against a former vice president who left the business to work for a competitor within the last couple of months.

While at LVNA, the woman who left to take a job with Coach was one of a small group of individuals who were made aware of strategic plans characterized as "most sensitive." In addition, she was privy to confidential trade secret information. According to LVNA before the woman left she copied information about the business to several external storage devices.

As a part of the lawsuit LVNA sought to have that information returned. In addition it sought a sum of money described as "well over $500,000." Because the former executive signed a non-compete while at LVNA her former employer is also requesting that she adhere to it and not work with a competitor, which Coach is deemed to be, for a period of six months.

Some of the issues have been resolved. A judge recently ordered the former LVNA executive to return the information she took from her former employer. In addition, per the terms of the non-compete agreement she signed, she cannot work for a competitor for half of a year.

Source: Racked, "Coach Exec Forced to Return Info She Stole From Louis Vuitton," Leslie Price, June 2, 2014

Racked, "Louis Vuitton Will See Coach in Court Over Trade Secret Theft," Leslie Price, May 12, 2014