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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.

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

Often, in trade secrets and other types of commercial litigation, the courts will enter protective orders so that the parties can exchange trade secret or proprietary information without losing the “secret” nature of the information.  This exchange of information is generally necessary so that the parties can understand the nature of the dispute.  For instance, if the claim is that a competitor misappropriated a customer list, the plaintiff might have to produce the customer list that it claims was misappropriated.  Additionally, the parties often exchange confidential financial information in order to prove their damages. Continue Reading When “Attorneys’ Eyes Only” Doesn’t Mean “Attorneys’ Eyes Only”

Law360 recently published an article about the Fifth Circuit case of BWP Media USA, Inc. v. T&S Software Associates, Inc.   The issue in BWP Media was whether “volitional conduct” is required for direct copyright infringement.   Defendant T&S Software Associates hosted an internet forum in which users posted images that infringed copyrights owned by Plaintiffs BWP Media USA and National Photo Group.  The plaintiff sued T&S for direct and secondary copyright infringement, but the trial court granted summary judgment for T&S.  Continue Reading Brackett & Ellis Copyright Case Featured in Law360 Article

The Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act’s definition of misappropriation is complicated, and it is frequently misinterpreted by both the courts and litigants.  In this post, I explore the first of the six alternative paths to liability: Continue Reading The Six Paths to Liability Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act – Part 1

Although Texas courts have loosened the restrictions on the enforceability of certain employee agreements over the past two decades, Texas law still requires employee agreements to be supported by adequate consideration—i.e., mutual, non-illusory promises between employee and employer.  The recent case of Eurecat US, Inc. v. Marklund, No. 14-15-00418-CV, 2017 WL 2367545 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] May 31, 2017, no pet. h.) illustrates what is not adequate consideration. Continue Reading Are Your Employee Non-Disclosure Agreements Supported by Adequate Consideration?

Last February, I had the privilege of speaking at the State Bar of Texas’s Intellectual Property Law Workshop.  This year’s theme was IP Issues with Technology Startups, and my speech was Protecting your Startup Client’s Intellectual Property and Customer Relationships: The Intersection of Trade Secrets, Confidentiality Agreements, and Covenants Not to Compete.  As a springboard for my speech, I discussed the pilot episode of Silicon Valley, which, as others have pointed out, has all sort of intellectual property issues to explore.  Continue Reading Tips for Protecting Your Startup’s Intellectual Property and Customer Relationships: Lessons from HBO’s Silicon Valley