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Judge grants injunction in ex-Estee Lauder executive dispute

On Thursday, U.S District Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled the noncompete and nonsolicitation agreement with Shashi Batra is valid and Batra will be restricted from working for N.V. Perricone M.D. Ltd. for five months.

Batra served as global general manager of Estee Lauder's Rodan+Fields brand and general manager of its Darphin brand in North America until March, when he took a similar position at rival Perricone.

"It is concluded that Batra's absence from the industry for a few months will not significantly impair his ability to earn a livelihood in the future and therefore will not cause Batra undue hardship," the judge said in his order.

The contract calls for Batra to continue to earn full salary at Estee Lauder during the noncompete period and permits him to earn additional compensation from noncompetitive work during the period. Batra earned $375,000 a year at Estee Lauder.
A lawyer for Batra wasn't immediately available to comment on Friday.

Estee Lauder filed its lawsuit in March shortly after Batra left the company and filed his own lawsuit in California state court seeking to invalidate the noncompete contract.

According to Estee Lauder's lawsuit, Batra signed the noncompete agreement in January 2004. The contract restricted him from working for a direct competitor for a 12-month period after leaving Estee Lauder.

However, Judge Sweet found that Estee Lauder reduced the timeframe of similar noncompete periods for other executives who previously left the company and that the cosmetics maker had offered to reduce the noncompete period to four months when Batra announced his resignation.