In my July 16, 2017 post, I began an exploration of the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the second of six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA:

b. Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret [§ 134A.002 (3)(B)(i)]

Under path two, any person who discloses or uses another’s trade secret and who acquired that trade secret through improper means could be liable for misappropriation.  For example, an employee who steals a password to obtain access to his employer’s trade secret could be liable for misappropriation if that employee discloses or uses that trade secret.  However, an employee who merely misuses or discloses trade secrets that were properly disclosed to him—such as through a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement—would not be liable under this path.