As far as the field of activity is concerned, there are no fixed rules, but cases have shown that courts are less likely to impose non-competition rules preventing a worker from cooperating with customers with whom the worker has not been in contact during his employment. However, companies can generally prevent contact with existing customers. Non-compete rules may prevent an employee from working for competitors, but time and geography constraints must nevertheless be reasonable for the agreement to be considered valid. It should have been pretty simple for the Court of Appeal, right? As we have seen, the Texas non-compete clause applies to a non-debauchery agreement and the law explicitly requires an appropriate geographic restriction. In Marsh USA Inc. v. Cook, 354 S.W.3d 764, 768 (Tex. 2011), the Texas Supreme Court clarified Texas law on the applicability of non-compete rules. Marsh`s agreement prohibited the worker from soliciting, within two years of his dismissal, a certain type of business of persons who were customers or potential customers of his employer. The somewhat gloomy language of the Texas non-compete clause, found in section 15.50 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, has caused much consternation about the applicability of these agreements.
For a non-compete clause to be enforceable in Texas courts, the law provides that an agreement must be clearly illegal with respect to the duration of unlimited restrictions of competition. It is not possible to give a number of months or years that the courts consider appropriate for non-competition. It depends on the sector in which the company is located, the role of the employee in the company, the market in which it operates and other factors. Competition bans do not necessarily have to indicate a duration, but the courts will only apply such agreements for a reasonable period of time, given the current circumstances. Each state has slightly different non-compete laws, with some states providing robust recognition of these agreements and others limiting their applicability to varying degrees. . . .