NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENT

 

                                                                   EXHIBIT 10.19

                            NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENT
                            -------------------------

         This Agreement is made and entered into as of March 14, 1996 by and
between R&D Systems Company, a Delaware corporation (the "Company"), and Roger
H. Linn ("Founder").

         WHEREAS, certain investors have agreed to provide financing (the
"Financing") to the Company subject to the terms of that certain Stock Purchase
Agreement (the "Stock Purchase Agreement"), dated as of the date hereof, by and
among the Company, the Founder, the other stockholders of the Company identified
therein, and the investors identified therein;

         WHEREAS, a portion of the proceeds from the Financing will be used by
the Company to repurchase outstanding capital stock held by the Founder;

         WHEREAS, the Founder has been is an executive of the Company; and

         WHEREAS, the execution of this Agreement by the Company and the Founder
is a condition precedent to the transactions contemplated by the Stock Purchase
Agreement.

         NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants contained
herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of
which is hereby acknowledged, the Company and the Founder agree as follows:

         1.   Confidential Information, Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation.
              --------------------------------------------------------------

              (a)      Definitions.
                       -----------

                       (i) Proprietary Information. As used in this
                           -----------------------
              Agreement, "Proprietary Information" means information which
              the Company possesses or to which the Company has rights which
              has commercial value. Proprietary Information includes, by way
              of example and without limitation, trade secrets, product
              ideas, designs, configurations, processes, techniques,
              formulas, software, improvements, inventions, data, know-how,
              copyrightable materials, marketing plans and strategies, sales
              and financial reports and forecasts, and customer lists.
              Proprietary Information includes information developed by the
              Founder in the course of the Founder's employment by the
              Company or otherwise relating to Inventions which belong to
              the Company under Section 1(d) below, as well as other
              information to which the Founder may have access in connection
              with the Founder's employment.

                       (ii) Inventions and Developments. As used in this
                            ---------------------------
              Agreement, "Inventions and Developments" means any and all
              inventions, developments, creative works and useful ideas of any
              description whatsoever, whether or not

               patentable or copyrightable. Inventions and Developments include,
               by way of example and without limitation, discoveries or
               improvements which consist of or relate to any form of
               Proprietary Information.

                        (iii) Company-Related Inventions and Developments.
                              -------------------------------------------
               For purposes of this Agreement, "Company-Related Inventions
               and Developments" means all Inventions and Developments which
               either (A) relate at the time of conception or development to
               the actual or demonstrably anticipated business of the Company
               or to its actual or demonstrably anticipated research and
               development; (B) result from or relate to any work performed
               for the Company, whether or not during normal business hours;
               (C) are developed on Company time; or (D) are developed
               through the use of the Company's Proprietary Information,
               equipment and software, or other facilities or resources.

               (b) Confidentiality. The Founder understands and agrees that
                   ---------------
         the Founder's employment has created a relationship of confidence and
         trust between the Founder and the Company with respect to (i) all
         Proprietary Information (ii) the confidential information of others
         with which the Company has a business relationship with reasonable
         expectations (whether as a result of a contract or otherwise) that such
         information will not be disclosed and (iii) any information about the
         financing and transactions related to the financing, including but not
         limited to amounts paid, parties involved, ownership interests sold and
         restrictions on the Company and its stockholders. The information
         referred to in clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of the preceding sentence is
         referred to in this Agreement, collectively, as "Confidential
         Information." At all times, both during the Founder's employment with
         the Company and after its termination, the Founder will keep in
         confidence and trust all such Confidential Information, and will not
         use or disclose any such Confidential Information without the written
         consent of the Company, except as may be necessary in the ordinary
         course of performing the Founder's duties to the Company except to the
         extent required by applicable law or court order (in each case
         following notice to the Company) and except for disclosure to the
         Founder's attorneys and assessments for tax, estate planning on legal
         purposes. The restrictions set forth in this Section 1(b) will not
         apply to information which is or becomes known to the public or in the
         trade, unless such knowledge results from an unauthorized disclosure by
         the Founder, but this exception will not affect the application of any
         other provision of this Agreement to such information in accordance
         with the terms of such provision.

               (c) Documents, Records, etc. All documents, records,
                   -----------------------
         apparatus, equipment and other physical property, whether or not
         pertaining to Confidential Information, furnished to the Founder by the
         Company or produced by the Founder in connection with the Founder's
         employment will be and remain the sole property of the Company. The
         Founder will return to the Company all such materials and property as
         and when requested by the Company. In any event, the Founder will
         return all such materials and property immediately upon termination of
         the Founder's employment for any reason. The 

         Founder will not retain with the Founder any such material or property
         or any copies thereof after such termination, except that one copy of
         any such materials may be delivered to independent counsel for the
         Company to the extent the Founder deems it reasonably necessary to
         preserve any of its rights hereunder, provided that such independent
         counsel is reasonably acceptable to the Company, and the Founder
         provides prior notice to the Company describing any such materials and
         such independent counsel agrees to keep such material confidential.

                  (d) Ownership of Inventions and Developments. The Founder
                      ----------------------------------------
         agrees that all Company-Related Inventions and Developments which the
         Founder conceives, creates or develops, in whole or in part, either
         alone or jointly with others, prior to or during the course of the
         Founder's employment with the Company will be the sole property of the
         Company. The Founder agrees that the Company will be the sole owner of
         all patents, copyrights and other proprietary rights in and with
         respect to such Company-Related Inventions and Developments. To the
         fullest extent permitted by law, such Company-Related Inventions and
         Developments will be deemed works made for hire. The Founder hereby
         transfers and assigns to the Company any proprietary rights which the
         Founder may have or acquire in any such Company-Related Inventions and
         Developments. The Founder agrees to execute any documents and take any
         actions that may be required to effect and confirm such transfer and
         assignment and waiver. The provisions of this Section 1(d) will apply
         to all Company-Related Inventions and Developments which are conceived,
         created or developed during the course of the Founder's employment with
         the Company, whether before or after the date of this Agreement, and
         whether or not further development or reduction to practice may take
         place after termination of the Founder's employment, for which purpose
         it will be presumed that any Company-Related Inventions and
         Developments conceived by the Founder which are reduced to practice
         within one year after termination of the Founder's employment were
         conceived during the course of the Founder's employment with the
         Company unless the Founder is able to establish a later conception date
         by clear and convincing evidence. The provisions of this Section 1(d)
         will not apply, however, to any Inventions and Developments which may
         be disclosed in a separate Schedule attached to this Agreement prior to
         its acceptance by the Company, representing Inventions and Developments
         made by the Founder prior to the Founder's employment by the Company.

                  (e) Disclosure of Inventions and Developments. The Founder
                      -----------------------------------------
         agrees promptly to disclose to the Company, or any persons designated
         by it, all Company-Related Inventions and Developments which are or may
         be subject to the provisions of Section 1(d).

                  (f) Obtaining and Enforcing Proprietary Rights. The Founder
                      ------------------------------------------
         agrees to assist the Company, at the Company's request from time to
         time and at the Company's expense, to obtain and enforce patents,
         copyrights or other proprietary rights with respect to Company-Related
         Inventions and Developments in any and all countries. The Founder

         will execute all documents reasonably necessary or appropriate for this
         purpose. This obligation will survive the termination of the Founder's
         employment, provided that the Company will compensate the Founder at a
         reasonable rate after such termination for time actually spent by the
         Founder at the Company's request on such assistance. In the event that
         the Company is unable for any reason whatsoever to secure the Founder's
         signature to any document reasonably necessary or appropriate for any
         of the foregoing purposes (including renewals, extensions,
         continuations, divisions or continuations in part), the Founder hereby
         irrevocably designates and appoints the Company and its duly authorized
         officers and agents as the Founder's agents and attorneys-in-fact to
         act for the Founder and on the Founder's behalf, but only for the
         purpose of executing and filing any such document and doing all other
         lawfully permitted acts to accomplish the foregoing purposes with the
         same legal force and effect as if executed by the Founder.

                  (g) Third-Party Agreements and Rights. The Founder hereby
                      ---------------------------------
         confirms that the Founder is not bound by the terms of any agreement
         with any previous company or other party which restricts in any way the
         Founder's use or disclosure of information or the Founder's engagement
         in any business. The Founder represents to the Company that the
         Founder's execution of this Agreement, the Founder's employment with
         the Company and the performance of the Founder's proposed duties for
         the Company will not violate any obligations the Founder may have to
         any such previous company or other party. In the Founder's work for the
         Company, the Founder will not disclose or make use of any information
         in violation of any agreements with or rights of any such previous
         company or other party, and the Founder will not bring to the premises
         of the Company any copies or other tangible embodiments of non-public
         information belonging to or obtained from any such previous employment
         or other party.

                  (h) Non-competition and Non-solicitation. For a period
                      ------------------------------------
         beginning on the date hereof and ending on the fourth anniversary of
         the date hereof, the Founder, directly or indirectly, whether as owner,
         sole proprietor, partner, shareholder, director, consultant, agent,
         Founder, co-venturer or otherwise, (i) will not engage, participate or
         invest in any business activity anywhere in the world which develops,
         manufactures or markets products or performs services which are
         competitive with the products or services of the Company at the time of
         the Founder's termination, or products or services which the Company
         has under development at the time of the Founder's termination or which
         are the subject of active planning at any time during the course of the
         Founder's employment (and which active planning is not thereafter
         abandoned); provided, however, that the Founder may own, as a passive
                     --------  -------
         investor, publicly-traded securities of any corporation which competes
         with the business of the Company so long as such securities do not, in
         the aggregate, constitute more than 1% of any class of outstanding
         securities of such corporation, (ii) will refrain from hiring or
         attempting to employ, recruiting or otherwise soliciting, inducing or
         influencing any person to leave employment with the Company or its
         resellers or distributors, and (iii) will refrain from directly or
         indirectly soliciting business from any of the Company's customers, end
         users, resellers or distributors on

         behalf of any business which competes with the Company. The Founder
         understands that the restrictions set forth in this Section 1(h) are
         intended to protect the Company's interest in its Proprietary
         Information and established customer relationships and goodwill, and
         agrees that such restrictions are reasonable and appropriate for this
         purpose.

                  (i) Injunction. The Founder agrees that it would be difficult
                      ----------
         to measure any damages caused to the Company which might result from
         any breach by the Founder of the promises set forth in this Agreement,
         and that in any event money damages would be an inadequate remedy for
         any such breach. Accordingly, the Founder agrees that if the Founder
         breaches, or proposes to breach, any portion of this Agreement, the
         Company shall be entitled, in addition to all other remedies that it
         may have, to an injunction or other appropriate equitable relief to
         restrain any such breach without showing or proving any actual damage
         to the Company.

         2. Extent of Service. So long as the Founder is employed by the
            -----------------
Company, the Founder shall devote all of the Founder's business time, attention
and energies, best efforts and business judgment, skill and knowledge to the
advancement of the Company's interests and to the discharge of the Founder's
duties and responsibilities hereunder. The Founder shall not engage in any other
business activity, except as may be approved by two-thirds of the Board of
Directors; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as
preventing the Founder from the following:

                  (a) investing the Founder's assets in any other entity in a
         manner not prohibited by Section 1(h) hereof and in such form or manner
         as shall not require any material services on the Founder's part in the
         operations or affairs of the companies or other entities in which such
         investments are made; or

                  (b) acting as director of other companies so long as in a
         manner not prohibited by Section 1(h); or

                  (c) engaging in religious, charitable or other community or
         non-profit activities that do not impair the Founder's ability to
         fulfill the Founder's duties and responsibilities consistent with the
         foregoing.

         3. No Employment Obligation.  The Founder understands and agrees that
            ------------------------
this Agreement does not create an obligation on the part of the Company to
continue the Founder's employment by the Company. The Founder acknowledges and
agrees that, except as expressly provided in any subsequent agreement to the
contrary, he is an employee "at will."

         4. Inclusion of Company's Subsidiaries. For the purposes of Sections 1,
            -----------------------------------
2, 3 and 5 hereof, all references to "Company" shall be deemed to include the
Company and each of its subsidiaries, as in existence from time to time.

         5. Integration.  This Agreement and the Stock Purchase Agreement
            -----------
constitute the entire agreements between the parties with respect to the subject
matter hereof and supersede all prior agreements between the parties with
respect to any related subject matter.

         6. Assignment; Successors and Assigns, etc. Neither the Company nor the
            ---------------------------------------
Founder may make any assignment of this Agreement or any interest herein, by
operation of law or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the other
party; provided, however, that the Company may assign its rights under this
Agreement without the consent of the Founder in the event that the Company shall
hereafter effect a reorganization, consolidate with or merge into any other
corporation, partnership, organization or other entity, or transfer all or
substantially all of its properties or assets to any other corporation,
partnership, organization or other entity in which even for purposes of Section
1(h) hereof as used in determining the scope of the Company's business,
references to the Company shall be deemed to refer to the Company immediately
prior to such reorganization, consolidation or merger. This Agreement shall
inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the Company and the Founder, their
respective successors, executors, administrators, heirs and permitted assigns.

         7. Enforceability. If any portion or provision of this Agreement shall
            --------------
to any extent be declared illegal or unenforceable by a court of competent
jurisdiction, then the remainder of this Agreement, or the application of such
portion or provision in circumstances other than those as to which it is so
declared illegal or unenforceable, shall not be affected thereby, and each
portion and provision of this Agreement shall be valid and enforceable to the
fullest extent permitted by law.

         8. Waiver. No waiver of any provision hereof shall be effective unless
            ------
made in writing and signed by the waiving party. The failure of any party to
require the performance of any term or obligation of this Agreement, or the
waiver by any party of any breach of this Agreement, shall not prevent any
subsequent enforcement of such term or obligation or be deemed a waiver of any
subsequent breach.

         9. Notices. Any notices, requests, demands and other communications
            -------
provided for by this Agreement shall be sufficient if in writing and delivered
in person or sent by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return
receipt requested, to the Founder at the last address the Founder has filed in
writing with the Company or, in the case of the Company, at its main offices,
attention of the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

         10. Amendment.  This Agreement may be amended or modified only by a
             ---------
written instrument signed by the Founder and by a duly authorized representative
of the Company.

         11. Governing Law.  This is a Colorado contract and shall be construed
             -------------
under and be governed in all respects by the internal laws of the State of
Colorado, without giving effect to its conflicts of law principles.

         12. Counterparts.  This Agreement may be executed in any number of
             ------------
counterparts, each of which when so executed and delivered shall be taken to be
an original; but such counterparts shall together constitute one and the same
document.

                 [Remainder of Page Intentionally Left Blank]

         IN WITNESS WHEREOF, this Agreement has been executed as a sealed
instrument by the Company, by its duly authorized officer, and by the Founder,
as of the date first above written.

                                          COMPANY:

                                          R&D SYSTEMS COMPANY

                                          By: /s/ GUY M. LAMMLE
                                             ------------------------------
                                             Name:
                                             Title:

                                          FOUNDER:
                                          -------

                                          /s/ ROGER H. LINN
                                          ---------------------------------
                                          Roger H. Linn

 

Basic Info X:

Name: NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENT
Type: Non-competition Agreement
Date: March 14, 1997
Company: NXTREND TECHNOLOGY INC
State: Delaware

Other info:

Date:

  • March 14 , 1996

Organization:

  • R & D Systems Company
  • Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Ownership of Inventions and Developments
  • e Disclosure of Inventions and Developments
  • Board of Directors

Location:

  • Delaware
  • State of Colorado

Person:

  • Roger H. Linn

Percent:

  • 1 %