Sunitha Nath Boutiques: Intellectual Property Rights (B)
(4 pages of text)
This is Case B in a three case series. In December 2015, the managing director and chief executive officer of Sunitha Nath Boutiques in Bengaluru, discovered that her most trusted employee had abandoned and deceived her. She had recruited the employee as an intern and mentored him during his growth within the organization, eventually promoting him to the post of studio manager with complete power to run the business in her absence. But the employee had quit his job without giving any notice; stolen confidential information, designs, and documents relating to the business; and started his own competing design firm in Bengaluru. One of Sunitha Nath Boutiques’s important projects had been terminated by email a little while earlier, and the rumour was that her ex-employee was continuing to work on that project under his new design firm.
In this case, the managing director and her lawyer reviewed the employment contract and determined what, if anything, might be done to prevent the ex-employee from using Sunitha Nath Boutique’s resources—knowledge, designs, clients, and employees—in a new competing business. See 9B17M013
for Case A and 9B17M015
for Case C.
The cases are suitable for MBA business management courses on intellectual property, organizational policy and management, recruitment and mentoring, and business law.
After studying these cases students will
- understand the importance of trade secrets and confidential information (TS/CI) in a business, especially in a start-up business or small- to medium-sized organization where the founder is the leader;
- explore the effects of the theft of TS/CI;
- understand the importance of employment contracts in safeguarding TS/CI and the relevance of restrictive covenants in employment contracts; and
- examine the process of instituting policies, procedures, and systems within a business to identify and secure TS/CI, while maintaining cordial relationships with customers and vendors.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
India, Small, 2015
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