Ted Sichelman

The Case for Noncompetes
Jonathan M. Barnett
Torrey H. Webb Professor, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.

We thank Shyam Balganesh, Norman Bishara, Michael Burstein, Richard Castanon, Bryan Choi, Victor Fleischer, Lee Fleming, Ronald Gilson, John Goldberg, Robert Gomulkiewicz, Charles Tait Graves, Michael Guttentag, Ryan Holte, Justin Hughes, David Levine, Orly Lobel, Greg Mandel, Karl Mannheim, Matt Marx, Adam Mossoff, Natasha Nayak, Ruth Okediji, David Orozco, Eric Posner, Greg Reilly, Michael Risch, Ben Sachs, David Schwartz, Joseph Singer, Henry Smith, Kathy Spier, Matt Stephenson, James Stern, Olav Sorenson, Evan Starr, David Taylor, Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Polk Wagner, and Stephen Yelderman, as well as attendees at the 2015 Works in Progress in Intellectual Property Conference, the 2017 Conference of the American Law and Economics Association, and workshops at Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, the Center for Law and the Social Sciences at the University of Southern California School of Law, and the University of San Diego School of Law for their helpful discussions and comments on prior versions of this paper. We also thank Carolyn Ginno, Matthew Arnold, Anna Ayar, Vanand Baroni, Haley Dumas, Ryan Foley, David Javidzad, Rachel Stariha, and Millicent Whitemore for their valuable research assistance.

Ted Sichelman
Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law.

On February 23, 2017, two titans of Silicon Valley went to war in federal court: Google filed a lawsuit against Uber, accusing it of using intellectual property allegedly stolen by one of the lead engineers on Waymo, Google’s self-driving automotive subsidiary. Specifically, Google alleged that Anthony Levandowski had misappropriated Google’s intellectual property before departing (along with other Google engineers) to found Otto, a self-driving car startup subsequently acquired by Uber for $680 million.