Marshall Melhorn recently obtained excellent results for our clients in the case of Key Realty, Ltd. v. Michael Hall, et al., 6th Dist. App. No. L-19-1237, 2021-Ohio-26 (Jan. 8, 2021).
This Lucas County Court of Appeals decision is noteworthy for the following reasons:
- This decision appears to be the only Ohio court of appeals decision to address the issue of ownership of Facebook group pages and other business-related social media platforms under the circumstances presented in this case.
- This decision clarifies the legal standard for establishing a valid claim for misappropriation of trade secrets. Such cases are highly fact-specific, but depending on the facts, this decision likely makes it more difficult for plantiffs to prevail on claims of misappropriation of trade secrets when former employees launch a competing business using similar business model, compensation scheme, training methods, and day-to-day operating procedures.
- This decision appears to be the only Ohio court of appeals decision addressing the enforceability of a noncompete agreement when the agreement says "employee" throughout, but the defendant was, in fact, an independent contractor at all times. On this question, the Lucas County Court of Appeals found the noncompete agreement to be unenforceable as a matter of law, which is new Ohio precedent.