On September 1, 2017, changes to the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) went into effect. These changes were designed to accomplish two goals: (1) incorporate certain provisions of the new federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) to eliminate confusion and avoid possible forum shopping between state and federal courts and (2) codify the Texas Supreme Court’s holding in In re M-I, LLC, which sets forth the factors that a court must analyze in order to prohibit a party from participating in certain portions of a trade secrets case.
The September 2017 issue of the Texas Bar Journal published an article outlining these changes to TUTSA. The article, drafted by Joe Cleveland and me, explains the changes to TUTSA’s definitions of “trade secret,” “misappropriation,” and “owner” as well as the new definitions for “clear and convincing evidence” and “willful and malicious.” It also details the new limitations on limiting a party’s access to trade secrets and reiterates that TUTSA’s ability to seal court records overrides Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 176a. Hopefully, these changes will keep Texas at the forefront of trade secrets law.