Tom Mason was hired as a technical salesperson for Chem-Trend Limited
Partnership, a chemical manufacturer that sold industrial chemicals worldwide. At the time of hiring, he signed a standard form contract that contained both a confidentiality clause and a non-competition clause. The confidentiality clause prohibited him from using or disclosing any trade secrets or confidential information after the termination of his employment. The non-competition clause prohibited him from engaging in any business or activity that could be deemed in competition with Chem-Trend for a period of one year following termination of his employment, regardless of whether he had been fired or quit. This prohibition included providing services or products to any business entity or client of Chem-Trend during the course of his employment.
Seventeen years later, Chem-Trend terminated Mr. Mason’s employment. At the time of his termination, his sales territory spanned all of Canada and several states in the United States of America. As a result, he was familiar with some of Chem-Trend’s clients who operated world- wide, and he had acquired extensive knowledge of Chem-Trend’s products, operations, customers and pricing.
You are the judge hearing this case. You must decide whether or not the confidentiality and non-competition clauses are enforceable. Explain how you will make your decision. ?
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