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Heath Coffman is a shareholder at Brackett & Ellis, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas.  His practice includes commercial litigation, intellectual property, collections, professional malpractice defense, fiduciary litigation, and appeals.  You can contact him directly at hcoffman@belaw.com.

The Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other law of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret. In Super Starr International, LLC v. Fresh Tex Produce, LLC, 531 S.W.3d 829 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi July 20, 2017, no pet.), the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals offered perhaps the first interpretation of the section. Continue Reading Corpus Christi Court Issue Opinion Interpreting Preemption Provision of the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act

In my earlier posts, I explored the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the fourth of six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act – Part 4

In my July 16 and Sept 25 posts, I explored the complicated definition of “misappropriation” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA).  Litigants and courts often fail to understand all the ways a trade secret may be misappropriated.  In this post, I explore the third of six alternative paths to liability under TUTSA: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act – Part 3

In BCOWW Holdings, LLC v. Collins, SA-17-CA-00379-FB, 2017 WL 3868184 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 5, 2017), the district court denied injunctive relief to the plaintiff who alleged its former employee was using its trade-secret information.  Plaintiff alleged that defendant misappropriated, among other things, its confidential drawings (engineering plans) and pricing information.   The court observed that these are certainly protected by the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA)—if the information is kept a secret.  Plaintiff argued that it took reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of its information by only disclosing it to persons under an implied obligation not to use or disclose it and only on a limited basis. Continue Reading New Case Explains that Employers Must Be Proactive if They Want to Protect Their Trade Secrets

In Realpage, Inc. v. Enter. Risk Control, LLC, 4:16-CV-00737, 2017 WL 3313729 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 3, 2017), the Eastern District of Texas explored the definition of “use” under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”).  In Realpage, the Court granted a temporary injunction to the plaintiff who alleged its former employee was using its trade-secret information. Defendant argued that plaintiff had no evidence that defendant was using the alleged trade-secret information. Although plaintiff had little evidence of actual use, it argued that “use” can be implied from defendant’s quick development of its own software code that was similar to plaintiff’s.  The Court agreed. Continue Reading Too Quick to Market: How Hiring a Competitor’s Employee to Develop a Competiting Product Could Result in an Injunction under TUTSA

Six Brackett & Ellis attorneys were named to the Super Lawyers list featured recently in Texas Monthly.  Inclusion as a Super Lawyer signifies a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement for the attorney.  The Brackett & Ellis 2017 Super Lawyers are: Continue Reading Six Brackett & Ellis Attorneys Named as Super Lawyers in Texas Monthly

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: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act – Part 2

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. Continue Reading Texas Bar Journal Publishes Trade Secrets Article by Brackett & Ellis Attorneys