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Vedder Thinking | Articles Jonathan Maude Authors Article on Intellectual Property and Data Protection in a Gig Economy in The HR Director


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London Partner and Chair of the UK/EU Employment Law Committee Jonathan Maude recently authored the featured “Article of the Week” in The HR Director Magazine. In the article, entitled, “Without Secrecy, Secret Squirrel is Just a Squirrel,” Mr. Maude discusses how the gig economy and new flexible working practices have impacted data privacy and intellectual property for businesses, and how employers should put precautions in place in order to protect their client relationships and business interests. “It’s about treading a fine line between putting safeguards in place and being seen to enforce them vigorously, while complementing these measures with softer initiatives to build team spirit, inspire and motivate.”

Mr. Maude uses a recent case concerning an employee from Dyson Technology joining Tesla Motors as an example of the court’s positioning on confidentiality and enforceability. He concludes that courts have been more prepared to regard client and customer relationships, so companies can be more optimistic in connection with restraints or interference of client relationships. But data security is still of paramount importance to organizations. He notes that the burning question is whether organizations are doing enough to protect their information that will need to be shared with workers, whether hired on a “gig” basis or not.

“We need to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-increasing competitive environment,” says Mr. Maude. “It is possible to have your cake and eat it – hire the best on terms appropriate to them, but ensure the Crown Jewels are protected. Take the right actions and the courts will enforce the terms and protect the company.”

To read the article in full, please click here.


Jonathan C. Maude