The High Court (North Gauteng, Pretoria) ruled in favour of MPU Copiers (Nelspruit) in an application to restrain a former employee from joining Canon Business Centre or certain of its affiliates contrary to a restraint of trade provision in its employment contract.
We were instructed to enforce the restraint of trade after it became clear that the former employee was employed by Canon from the 1st July 2016. An urgent application was immediately launched and the Court ruled that the restraint should be enforced. A final order was granted, prohibiting the former employee from entering into employment with or being employed by Canon within 100 kilometers from any office of MPU for a period of 12 months from date of resignation of the employee.
Employers and employees alike should therefore note that contracts and/or provisions in restraint of trade should not be taken lightly. Companies should think twice before employing opposition staff or recruiting their staff to gain a commercial advantage. This is precisely what a restraint clause aims to prevent.
MPU also alleged that confidential information relating to its clients base and financial statements was supplied to Canon and applied for a range of interim orders compelling Canon and various other parties to return alleged compromised confidential information. The interim orders were granted pending an action to be instituted within 20 days. A summons is currently being prepared in which the High Court will be asked to confirm the interim orders for the return of all MPU’s information.