As previously mentioned in this blog, one of the biggest issues in trade secrets litigation in Texas is the application of the state’s anti-SLAAP statute the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) to claims under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA). Because of the broad language of the TCPA, defendants can file a TCPA motion to dismiss in almost any trade secrets case.
On June 2, 2019, Governor Abbott signed a bill to change that.
HB 2730 amends the TCPA to specifically limits its application by narrowing the definitions of “exercise of right association” and “matter of public concern.” The bill also provides specific exemptions for suits involving, among other things, (1) misappropriation of trade secrets or corporate opportunities, (2) enforcement of non-disparagement or covenants not to compete, (3) the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, (4) evictions, and (5) common law fraud. With these changes, most commercial litigation claims will no longer be subject to the TCPA and its motion to dismiss procedure.
The changes go into effect September 1, 2019.