non competes... again

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thomasp polycounter
i know it has been discussed before but i wasn't able to find the older thread: are non compete clauses in your employment contract enforceable, specifically in the UK? yes, that means the situation in californa is of little interest to me atm, sorry. wink.gif

any links, court decisions, resources on this?


  • KDR_11k
    I think it's legit as long as they are paying you a compensation wage while you are prevented from working.
  • Paul Jaquays
    The main issue may be how specific or non-specific the wording. Too general as to make it difficult or impossible to ply your trade and it's probably unenforceable, or they must compensate you fairly for the time you are out of work.

    If they insist, require language that narrows it down to the specific type of software, game, product that you are not allowed to work on or not compete against and make sure it has a short lifespan. 2 years at the outside.

    And it's probably worth your time to have a lawyer look at anything before you sign.
  • Toomas
    It's like KDR said here in Estonia too.
    Also they have to pay if they want you to keep secrets after you leave the company etc.
  • Ryno
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    Ryno polycounter lvl 13
    Technically every game competes against every other game in the world for the buyers' cash. Non-compete clauses are often times so grandiose and vague that they are unenforceable. Technically, working for any other development team in the world could be construed as competition.

    If they make reference to specific technical information, game types, etc., they may be able to enforce it.
  • danr
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    danr greentooth
    as ryno says - if they want to enforce it, they can by being very specific in the contract. Then anything they "specify" is technically enforcable, and anything they don't is technically not ... the problem comes with what it is they've specified and how that's translated. Don't work for arseholes, that's the easiest way round it.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp polycounter
    ok, that applies for the period after quitting a job - but what about working besides your day-time job? i see quite some staff artists doing that - freelancing on the side, teaching, that kind of stuff, does that have to be negotiated with the employer, too?

    admittedly, it's kind of an unusual situation for me - first time in years that i consider full-time employment wink.gif
  • CheeseOnToast
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    CheeseOnToast polycounter lvl 13
    I've never heard of this EVER being enforced, at least in the UK. It's probably just to cover their arses in case a disgruntled ex-employee switches jobs to a direct rival.
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