LinkedIn-invite: non-competition clause breached

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By accepting an invite to connect on LinkedIn, a Dutch employee was charged with a fine of EUR 10,000 by a Dutch judge. The case dealt with a former employee of an IT company who accepted an LinkedIn-invite of a relation of the former employer. The non-competition clause signed by the employee included the formal restriction of contacts with relations of the former employer.

The judge concluded that the former employee had breached the non-competition clause by accepting the LinkedIn-invite after termination of the employment, and imposed the fine of EUR 10,000.

This is the first time that a Dutch court delivers judgment on the breaching of a non-competition clause by accepting an invite to connect on a social media platform. It is very interesting to see if and how this verdict sets a precedent. In this particular case, the verdict is a provisional judgment, i.e. appeal is possible.

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Panel's Jotter

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