I fail to see how one can claim that a student is a 'goodwill' or 'client' or 'customer relationship' when the directors of one's school kicks them out for training with a respected teacher that one's organization was praising to the skies only three months ago.
First, I want to say I have absolutely no clue what is going on in the dojos in the current situation. My statement was addressing someone stating that students can not be trademarks and therefor can't be covered by a covenant not to compete. That's true.
Robert, aren't customer lists considered "trade property"? The customer list is the property not the customers. But just the "expectation of continued customer patronage" (Black's Law Dictionary, ab. 6th ed., pg. 479) is "goodwill"? That's my understanding.
This is how I understand, generally (subject to expections and state laws), happens with "goodwill" and trade property
Business X contracts with Mr. Y to work for them and includes and covenant not to compete from within (let's say for hypo sake) 5 miles and that you can't solicit the clients of Business X to come to your Mr. Y's Business. Mr. Y gets upset with Business X and decides to leave and open his own shop. If he takes a customer list (trade property) and solicits he violates the covenant. Or if he opens shop within a mile, and what Business "Business X" would have received was lost because Mr. Y's Business was set up within a mile. As a result, he violates the covenant not to compete. (Of course for this to make sense it would have to be customary for the type of business such as beauty salons.)
But, to begin with, all of this talk requires a contract to exist between X and Y. If it doesn't exist there is no issue and the whole idea is just moot. Meaning that Student Y of Sensei X would have to have a contract and a promise not to compete if they leave. I imagine perhaps not in aikido, but in a McDojo kind of situation where a Dojo business hires a person to teach you could possibly find such a contract. But a contract with ones students like this is riduclous.