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Prof. Ya-Lun Yen

Yalun Yen joined National Cheng Kung University in 2014. Her main academic interests involve antitrust law, intellectual property law, and financial regulation. She was a research scholar at University of Michigan Law School in 2011-2012. In addition, before turning to the academic track, she had been the partner of Infoshare Tech Law Office in Taipei, working with and representing large corporate clients in Taiwan since 2001, and the member of the Editorial Committee for Taipei Bar Journal from 2006 to 2011. She has also been admitted to New York State Bar.

Yalun Yen received Ph.D. degree from College of Law, National Taiwan University and LL.M. degree from University of Michigan Law School. In 2013, She received Distinguished Thesis Award for her doctoral dissertation, “The Competition Policy on Taiwan Financial Industry: From the Perspective of Competition Law”, and this work was published by College of Law, National Taiwan University in 2014.

She is the co-author of several books on Taiwan Trade Secret Act, intellectual property law, and antitrust law, and has written various articles especially on antitrust law. She was commissioned by Taiwan Fair Trade Commission to co-conduct the research projects, “The Research on Patent Linkage System and Competition Law” in 2016, “Payment System and Competition” in 2018, and “Review and Analysis of Important Cases concerning Fair Trade Act: Concerted Actions” in 2019. The projects funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan include “The Challenge and Future of Market Definition Theory and Market Power Evaluation”, “Disruptive Innovation and Enforcement of Antitrust Law: The Challenge and Response of Taiwan”, “Horizontal Shareholding, Minority Shareholding, and Antitrust Policy”, “Emerging Competition Law Issues in Fintech Field”, and “Blockchain and Its Emerging Competition Law Issues”.

Non-compete agreements under Taiwan Labor Standards Act and Pacta Sunt Servanda

The validity and fairness of no-compete agreements after termination of employment have been controversial in Taiwan since 1990s. As for relevant thorny issues, it is required to strike a balance among the protection of employers’ trade secrets and other proper business interests, the freedom of employees to choose their jobs, contract enforceability, and legal certainty. The courts in Taiwan had developed “Five Principle for Non-Compete Agreements” and applied Article 247-1 of Taiwan Civil Code to no-compete agreements in many judgements before Article 9-1 of Taiwan Labor Standards Act was enacted in 2015. Article 9-1 thereof stipulates the requirements of legally binding non-compete agreements, including employers’ trade secrets and proper business interests to be protected, the limitation of the period, area, scope of and occupational activities and prospective employers, and reasonable compensation. Nevertheless, the debates concerning the appropriateness, application, and construction of the requirements stipulated in Article 9-1 of Taiwan Labor Standards Act still continue, especially for the issues relating to whether blue pencil rule shall apply in construing Paragraph 2, Article 9-1 thereof and if employees shall be entitled to claim reasonable compensation under Article 9-1 thereof. This article will further analyze Article 9-1 of Taiwan Labor Standards Act and then propose a suitable scheme for applying and amending Article 9-1 thereof based upon the the theories, legal framework, and judgements regarding the validity and fairness of no-compete agreements after termination of employment in Taiwan.