Joshua Waring

ITS 360 Hmwk #6

Due: 3/15/19


What Would You Do?

1)      I would probably tell her that just because her employees sign a noncompete agreement, doesn’t mean that they can’t think about or look at other jobs for future endeavors.  While they might not be allowed to work at a different job for a certain amount of time specified in the non-compete agreement, I think that it is within reason to say that they could still be contacted (or contact others) about job opportunities.  I would tell her that the employees themselves could ask not to be contacted again, but the non-compete agreement itself doesn’t prohibit me from contacting them.

3)        I would be willing to look at publicly and legally available resources and information to gather intelligence.  However, I would not be willing to use illegal means to gather information about competitors, as that would be both an ethical and a moral dilemma for me.  I would suggest to senior management that we instead invest in software for compiling and analyzing available data to draw conclusions, rather than attempting to steal information by illegal means.

Critical Thinking Q’s

1.1)  I believe that this case meets the three-factor test.  I believe that restraint is necessary for the protection of Amazon’s supply train trade secrets.  I also believe the noncompete agreement does not impose greater strength than is reasonably necessary, and the degree of injury to the public is minimal.  I think 18 months is a reasonable amount of time for a high-level employee at a large company like Amazon, and Amazon could not prove that Valdez was sharing secrets with Target.

1.2)  I think that it would be fair if Valdez waited out his 18 month noncompete and then went to work for Target, as this seems to be the best for both Amazon and Target.  I also think Valdez should potentially sign something stating he will not disclose and particular [important] trade secrets he learned at Amazon to Target.

1.3)  I think noncompete clauses in employment encourage innovation.  I believe that the security offered to a company by these noncompete clauses helps to ensure that they feel comfortable developing new technology or processes without fear that their hard work will be immediately stolen by another company who poaches one of their employees.

2.1) From my research it looks like the suit against Oculus/Facebook did cause Facebook to encounter some negative publicity, and temporarily affected its stock price.  It’s hard to tell how much of an affect it had on Facebook’s foray into VR, but the fact that Facebook has not made any exciting or stimulating innovations in the VR field means that their development is slower than first expected.

2.2) Paraphrasing could be detected by software that looks for similarities in different code.  I think paraphrasing should be considered patent infringement if it happens in a substantial amount.  Paraphrasing another’s work more than a small amount is definitely intellectual theft.

2.3) The appeal was settled, and the charges against Oculus were cut in half to $250million USD (plus interest).  ZeniMax tried to get a court-order to halt Oculus’ production of the Rift units, but the judge denied Zenimax’s request. 

Zenimax’s former employee Carmack (who went to work for Facebook’s Oculus) sued ZeniMax for not completing payment to him for his software.  However, Zenimax defended themselves by stating that their previous (failed) lawsuit against Carmack/Facebook/Oculus provided the precedent needed to show they couldn’t be held responsible for this. 

I think that this probably was an attempt at a money-grab by Zenimax, as they also attempted to sue Samsung over the Samsung Gear.  I think that there is some merit to the suit, but without knowing for sure how much of the code developed while at Zenimax was transferred to Facebook makes it difficult to tell if there was enough paraphrasing/intellectual property theft to warrant a suit.