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The courts will protect an employer’s established business  including its customer contacts, secrets, and other compilations  of information. One key factor is, how important and private is  the information for which protection is sought?

Use of Company Resources.
When the character of a business and the nature of one’s  employment require the law to protect the established business  against competitive actions by one who has become familiar with  it through employment, restrictions that are reasonably  necessary to protect the employer are proper. Robert S. Weiss &  Assocs. v. Wiederlight, 208 Conn. 525; 546 A.2d 216 (1988);  May v. Young, 125 Conn. 1, 6-7, 2 A.2d 385 (1938).

Fair Competition. 
The Courts make a distinction between fair and unfair  competition. An employer has a protectable interest against a  former worker‘s competition by improper and unfair means, but  not against regular and ordinary competition by a former  employee. Vlasin v. Loen Johnson & Co., 235 Neb. 450, 455  N.W.2d 772, 776 (1990).

Trade Secrets. 
Covenants not to compete will be enforced to prevent the abuse  of employer trade secrets, customer lists, client routes, and  established client or customer relationships. Intelus Corporation  v. Barton, 7 F. Supp. 2d 635, 638 (D. Md.1998); Becker v.  Bailey, 268 Md. 93, 299 A.2d 835, 838 (1973). Employer  protectable interests include trade secrets, customer contacts,  and other confidential information. Paramount Termite Control v.  Rector, 238 Va. 171, 380 S.E.2d 922, 925 (1989); John G. Bryant  Co. v. Sling Testing & Repair, 471 Pa. 1,8, 369 A.2d 1164 (1977); Cape Mobile Mart v. Mobley, 780 S.W.2d 116, 118 (Mo. App.  1989).