Validity of Restrictive Covenants Turns on Facts of Each Case

Validity of Restrictive Covenants Turns on Facts of Each Case

Virginia courts will not necessarily rule on the enforceability of a restrictive covenant in an employment agreement without first examining the facts. In a recent federal-court decision from Roanoke, Judge Wilson denied a defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings in a case involving an alleged assignment of patent rights in violation of various contractual restrictions, finding that the factual record wasn't sufficiently developed to permit a ruling.

Travis Mickle, President of KemPharm, Inc., a small early-phase biopharmaceutical company, was working as a senior research scientist for Lotus Biochemical Corporation (which became New River Pharmaceuticals ("NRP")) in 2001. At that time, he entered into an employment agreement with Lotus. In 2005, he left the company and entered into a settlement agreement governing various post-employment responsibilities.

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