Are Non-Compete Agreements History?

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed attorney and HR consultant Hessam Parzivand. Parzivand is a regular on the Price of Business show. 

Recently Price and Parzivand discussed the FTC’s dramatic actions on non-compete agreements.:

In a controversial decision, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has abolished non-compete agreements, dismissing their importance in protecting intellectual property and downplaying the potential negative consequences. Non-compete agreements have long been utilized by businesses to safeguard their trade secrets and proprietary information. This article takes a critical stance on the FTC’s decision, highlighting the necessity of these agreements for businesses and exploring the potential adverse effects that may arise as a result.

Preserving Intellectual Property:

Non-compete agreements play a crucial role in preserving the intellectual property of businesses. By restricting employees from joining or starting competing ventures, these agreements prevent the unauthorized disclosure or misuse of sensitive information. Companies invest significant resources into research, development, and innovation, and non-compete agreements serve as a necessary measure to maintain a competitive edge in the market. The FTC’s decision undermines the protection of intellectual property and may expose businesses to increased risks of theft or exploitation.

Negative Impact on Businesses:

The FTC’s decision to abolish non-compete agreements could have detrimental effects on businesses of all sizes. Without these agreements, companies may find it harder to attract and retain top talent, as skilled employees become more likely to join competitors or establish rival ventures. This heightened employee mobility can lead to a loss of valuable expertise, customer relationships, and trade secrets, negatively impacting a company’s ability to maintain a competitive advantage. Additionally, businesses may face increased difficulty in securing investments and partnerships due to concerns about the potential erosion of intellectual property protection.

Implications for Innovation and Economic Growth:

Non-compete agreements have traditionally played a significant role in fostering innovation and driving economic growth. By protecting proprietary knowledge, businesses are incentivized to invest in research and development, knowing that their intellectual property will be safeguarded. The abolition of non-compete agreements may discourage such investments, as the risk of intellectual property theft rises. This can hinder technological advancement, limit entrepreneurship, and stifle the dynamism of industries. Ultimately, the FTC’s decision may have a chilling effect on innovation and impede the overall economic growth of the country.

Challenges of the FTC’s Decision:

While the FTC aims to balance the concerns of businesses and employees, the decision to abolish non-compete agreements neglects the legitimate interests of companies in protecting their intellectual property. Striking a balance between employee mobility and intellectual property rights is crucial. The FTC should consider alternative approaches, such as refining the scope and duration of non-compete agreements, rather than outright abolishment.


Non-compete agreements serve as vital tools for businesses to safeguard their intellectual property, protect trade secrets, and maintain a competitive edge. The FTC’s decision to abolish these agreements overlooks their importance and potential negative consequences. Companies may face heightened risks of intellectual property theft, talent drain, and reduced innovation. Balancing the interests of businesses and employees is essential, and alternative approaches should be explored to address the concerns raised by non-compete agreements without disregarding their crucial role in protecting intellectual property.


Parzivand is an attorney in Houston, Texas that focuses on labor law. He is a long time contributor on the Price of Business show. Learn more about him at

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