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Assistant Coach Poaching

John Gdanski, Principal at R.B. Flinders, continues the fight for employee type benefits for sports players

What happens to your trade secrets when your key personnel or star player leaves for your competitor?

Intellectual property. For many this term means "trade mark" or "copyright" but the impact of this area of law to employers and their workers is one which is widely underestimated.

Like many employers, AFL clubs are finding themselves at a loss when their assistant coaches leave or are snapped up by rival clubs. It's a very competitive market with few avenues for advancement (other than retirement or departure of a senior coach) so a promising career jump with another club becomes all too attractive.

Sound familiar? It's a temptation many managers, team leaders and star players have faced over the years, and one that should be contemplated and addressed at the time of commencing employment, not at the end.

The Australian Financial Review contacted John Gdanski, Principal at R.B. Flinders to provide his insight into a recent call for advice on how to prevent an assistant coach taking and using important information such as game strategy, training regimes and player contract information, if and when he leaves for a rival club. John is regularly consulted by football leaders on a range of legal issues.

John's advice was centered around both contract and common law, but raised some interesting components of intellectual property protection and defence.

For the full article, click here.

If you want to discuss protection of your rights or need a water tight employment/contractor agreement, you should contact John Gdanski or George Spiliotis.

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